Temporary Relocation Cell Sites, Who Pays?

By Nick G. Foster

August 17, 2020

How To Move A Cell Site & Not Get Stuck Paying The Bill

If you have a cell site on the roof or antennas attached to your building, at least sometime during the term of a cell site lease agreement you may need to have your tenant move. You may need to re-roof, paint the exterior of your building, or you may need to make structural repairs to your structure.

So How Do You Get A Cell Site Tenant To Move?

It all is going to come down to what you agreed to in your cell site lease. If the lease is silent, or there is no language address this scenario, then you are in a bad spot. The wireless tenant is going to want you to pay 100% of their moving costs. After all this would be your request and an inconvenience for your tenant.

If you have language that addresses temporary relocation, then you just follow the obligations and the duties set forth in the language. If it states that the tenant shall pay 100% of their moving costs, and has to work with your time lines then you are in luck.

My Story Trying To Move A Verizon Cell Site

My client, one of the largest commercial real estate owners in San Diego, has an industrial building with a Verizon cell site on the roof. The roof of this building is at the end of it’s life and my client needs to re-roof.

At the same time the rooftop lease with Verizon expires in less than 12 months’ and Verizon is asking my client to renew their lease.

I reach out to Verizon to notify them that we need them to move temporarily so we can re-roof. Verizon replies that they will require $50,000.00 from the property owner to cover their temporary relocation presses. $50,000.00 to move three antenna sectors, such as the one pictured below, and the microwave dish pictured in this post.

Verizon’s middle management must not fully understand the position that they are fully in (they have no leverage) and as anticipated, my client replies that they will be terminating Verizon’s lease at lease expiration if they do not pay to move their own equipment.

Verizon comes to their senses and we have a site meeting on-site where no less than 12 people attend on behalf of Verizon. The objective is to draw up a temporary site and permanent site on the roof.

While the property owner lacked language in their lease requiring the tenant to pay 100% of their temporary relocation costs. They had the leverage of an expiring lease which they could exercise to say them the proposed $50,000.00 price tag.

Every Cell Site Lease Needs Temporary Relocation Language

Signing a rooftop, or a building attachment cell site lease that does not include temporary relocation language is a huge mistake. It is also a future expenditure that will one day arise with your tenant’s hand extended asking you for money. Nip this future problem in the butt by ensuring every lease, amendment, etc. has temporary relocation language in the agreement.

Do You Need Help With Your Cell Site Lease?

Contact Airwave Advisors Today!

(888) 443-5101


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Nick Foster Airwave Advisors

About Nick G. Foster

Since founding Airwave Advisors® in 2014, Mr. Foster has added value to over 400 clients ranging from the State of Nevada, City of Beverly Hills, to Habitat For Humanity. Mr. Foster focuses on cell tower lease renewals, buyouts, new lease negotiation, and cell site lease management. Prior to starting Airwave Advisors® Mr. Foster founded and led the Cell Site Services Group within nationwide commercial real estate services leader Cassidy Turley (now known as Cushman & Wakefield).