Apr 8, 2024

So You Want to Sell Your Cell Site Lease?

If you are a property owner that has a cell site located on it, you most likely been besieged by consistent letters and phone calls from large companies offering to purchase your cell site lease. What does it mean to sell your cell site lease? How might you decide if you want to actually sell the lease? And, if you decide you want to sell your lease, how do you make sure you sell it in a manner that does not have residual negative impact on the operation of the rest of your property? This article will answer some of… Read more

Oct 11, 2023

Traps to Avoid When Negotiating a Commercial Sublease

Sometimes leasing space from another tenant (subleasing) may appear to be a more advantageous business decision in terms of price, location and size compared with leasing the space directly from the property owner. However, a commercial sublease actually triggers a variety of legal issues simply not present in a direct lease. This therefore leads to the misperception that negotiating and drafting a sublease is easier and quicker than negotiating and drafting a new lease. In reality, it is actually the opposite – subleases will most often be more difficult and time consuming (and possibly involve much higher legal fees) to draft. Therefore, a party considering a… Read more

Jul 10, 2023

What To Do When You Receive a Lease Optimization Demand Letter

What to Do When You Receive a Lease Optimization Demand Letter

Cell site landlords across the nation are receiving lease “optimization” demand letters from contractors hired by their wireless cell site tenants effectively threatening early termination unless rent and other concessions are granted. The reasons given by the tenant can range from “our site on your property is not profitable”; “we have too many cell sites in your area”; “due to 5G, fewer cell sites are necessary and your site in on the chopping block”; all the way to “we need to lower the rent because of industry consolidation.” These odious letters often include landlord-hostile proposals such as if the landlord… Read more

Feb 28, 2023

Negotiating the Use Provision in a Commercial Lease

One of the most overlooked but vital provisions when negotiating a commercial lease is the “use” provision. The “use” provision should be carefully negotiated at the letter of intent stage to avoid any subsequent negotiation problems down the line. Specifically, the landlord and tenant must understand the differences in the legal impact between (1) the permitted use clause, (2) the exclusive use clause, and (3) the prohibited use clause. As I will show you in the details below, it is critical that these provisions be carefully reviewed and negotiated by lawyers for both sides that have specific expertise in this… Read more

Dec 8, 2022

Are Cell Site Lease Rents an “Answer to Prayer?” A Cautionary Tale for Non-Profits and Religious Institutions

Non-profit organizations (“NPO”), churches and other religious institutions are always looking for consistent streams of income to fund the inevitable budget shortfalls that come with their missions. Given that these organizations are often looking for supplemental and long-term income, cellular providers are known to approach NPO’s, churches and other religious institutions to lease space on their buildings or elsewhere on their properties. Unfortunately, cellular carriers often view NPOs and religious institutions as unsophisticated players in the commercial real estate arena (specifically when involving cell site transactions) and seem to believe they can take advantage of these organizations to get very… Read more

Oct 19, 2022

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You

As a cell site leasing attorney, one of the most common questions I get from a potential client is “How can I get a cell site on my property?” The answer is similar to the common saying in Hollywood – “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” It is easier to understand why this is the case with a brief background into the cell site acquisition process. With this Ring I Thee Search The cell site acquisition process begins with the cellular carrier creating a search ring of an area within which the carrier seeks to increase its network capacity. This is literally a… Read more

Jul 11, 2022

Practice Tip-A Costly Error Many Landlords Make When Leasing To A Cellular Carrier-Why the Restoration Clause Is Essential in a Cell Site Lease

I recently received a phone call from a man who lived on twenty-four acres of raw land in rural Michigan. He explained to me that he had leased a small portion of this property to a large national cellular carrier about a decade earlier. The cellular carrier then built a 200-foot-tall free-standing lattice tower on which it placed transmitting and receiving equipment. However, the location did not prove to be as profitable as the cellular carrier anticipated, so it abandoned the site prior to the end of the lease term. The gentleman explained that he and his wife were of… Read more

Feb 24, 2022

Negotiating The Big Business of Fitness Center Leasing

Authored by: Linda S. Koffman Fitness centers and gyms are a big business. According to Statista, there were more than 37,000 fitness centers in the U.S. in 2017. This is an increase of more than 5,500 compared to 2012.  In an era with declining activity in retail, fitness center leases provide a growing opportunity for both landlords and tenants.  After representing a number of fitness companies in their lease negotiations, I have come across some key provisions that should be discussed between the landlord and tenant at the letter of intent stage. Early agreement on these issues will lead to… Read more

Oct 5, 2021

Negotiating Cell Site Leases that Involve Redevelopment Issues

Owners of commercial real estate, regardless of the property type, try to utilize every aspect of their property to maximize revenue and create additional value.  For example, many landlords often look at building rooftops and other generally “unused” areas on their property to generate additional rental income by leasing those areas to tenants with “specialized space needs.”  Any income generated from the roof or any unused portion of property is often considered by the property owner to be “found money” and the terms of those “specialized space” leases (including the rental income generated by these leases) are often not analyzed… Read more

Jun 7, 2021

Beware Amending a Lease Where There Is an Existing SNDA

Most commercial real estate leases are located on property encumbered by a deed of trust. The rental stream from these leases is a major factor in the lender’s valuation of the real property as its security and its underwriting of the loan. The rental stream is also the borrower’s source of funds to make its monthly loan payments to the lender.  Before making the loan, the lender will review the existing leases to determine if those leases are acceptable to it and support the loan. The lender will also decide if it wants any of the existing tenants to subordinate… Read more