Rooftop Mobile Site Lease Negotiations / HOME



Many building owners are drawn to the possibility of leasing space on a rooftop for a mobile site believing that they are just leasing unused roof space. However, the rooftop mobile site lease presents an entirely separate set of issues for the building owner to consider. Among these are the structural issues as well as access issues.

A rooftop mobile site lease is often structured very similarly to a mobile tower lease, however there is often less space for the transceiving equipment. Furthermore, while a tower is often owned by the wireless carrier or a third party mobile tower company, the rooftop owner can lease his rooftop to multiple carriers and receive multiple income streams.

Left to their own devices, the carrier will typically utilise the space most efficiently for their purposes, sometimes destroying the opportunity for the building owner to lease to another carrier. They rarely do this to prohibit the additional users; instead, they just utilise the cheapest and best performing installation they can.

Another issue incumbent in the rooftop mobile site lease is the attachment to the roof or parapet of the building. Once again, the carrier is looking for the easiest and cheapest way of installing the equipment. Sometimes this installation may void your roofing warranty, and other times, it may cause leaking. Trying to get a carrier to repair this damage can be difficult, as the carrier's agents may claim that the roof was installed improperly. There are many alternatives for installing the coaxial cable and antennas on the rooftop. We can help you ascertain which of these is the best alternative for you.

Other issues to be concerned with include access and noise. For residential or blocks of flats, the tenants may not appreciate having a mobile site technician coming through the building at all hours. The standard rooftop mobile site lease requires that the carrier have 24/7 access, although this is negotiable (except for emergencies) and access procedures can be formalised. Limitations can be placed on the type of access so that your tenants or fellow owners do not complain regarding the mobile site.

One last issue that has been causing concern lately with owners is the potential loss of value to their buildings with mobile installations, involving antennas and equipment shelters that can be over 2 metres high, plus supporting infrastructure. This may pose a problem for owners but there are ways to alter the installation details such that the visual impact is minimised. After all, it isn't much help for a strata/body corporate to receive $25,000 per annum for a rooftop lease if each of the units are devalued due to an unattractive mobile installation that could have been improved during the design stage.

Negotiating the lease rate in a rooftop mobile site lease is similar to negotiating a tower lease, although there are often other buildings that the carrier could use. Thus it becomes imperative that the building owner understand the competitive advantage (or lack thereof) that he has in mobile site lease negotiations. As with towers, two properties that are less than 500 metres (depending on the area) apart can have distinctly different values to the carriers. Furthermore, the same rooftop can have different value to two different carriers. Most landowners start negotiations with the amount they are getting from the existing leases on their buildings, which assumes they negotiated those leases well. This can be a bad assumption to make that might leave money on the table. We can assess how your lease compares to other leases in the area based upon our mobile site lease rent database.

SiteXcell has assisted numerous rooftop owners with negotiating the rooftop mobile site lease as well as advising them on installation issues. We can assist you with a negotiation for your roof. Unfortunately, we can not help you lease your property if you have not already been contacted by a carrier. So please don't contact us unless you have a mobile site on your roof already or have been approached by a wireless carrier to negotiate a lease for a mobile site.

If you have existing rooftop leases and wonder whether they are paying what they should, check out our rooftop mobile site audit services.

Please contact us.