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Drafting and Negotiating “Non-Tower” Telecom Agreements: Equipment Concerns, Operating Licenses, Termination Provisions

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, June 8, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will prepare real estate counsel to negotiate and draft telecom “non-tower” leases and licenses that help minimize the likelihood of future legal disputes. The panel will examine common agreement provisions landlords and tenants frequently negotiate regarding this increasingly routine use of space and will analyze practical considerations associated with a non-tower telecom lease.


The explosive growth of the telecommunications marketplace and the need for high speed communications has created a demand for leasing space on existing tall structures such as building rooftops, water towers, parking garages, and stadium light stanchions. Telecom agreements are typically longer in duration, so landlords must understand and consider the impact they will have on their long range plans for the property.

Landlord concerns typically relate to the equipment--its description by the lessee, its location atop the building, its installation and removal, and the risk that the tenant will seek early termination of the lease. Telecom tenants are most concerned about their rights to terminate the lease if technological developments negatively impact the equipment's usefulness, authority to make equipment upgrades and modifications, and their right to remain in the designated location as long as it is profitable for them.

Most agreements are drafted by the telecom provider and hence are most advantageous to the tenant. While rooftop telecom agreements can be very profitable to the property owner, there are pitfalls inherent in these leases that counsel for landlords and tenants must consider in the negotiating process.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses marketplace trends for non-tower telecom leasing. The panel will impart knowledge on negotiating and drafting telecom rooftop agreements that help minimize the likelihood of future legal disputes. The panel will examine lease provisions counsel to landlords and tenants should carefully negotiate during this rapidly expanding use of non-tower space.



  1. Current trends in non-tower telecom leasing
  2. Is a telecom lease the best use for my roof?
  3. Benefits and detriments of a rooftop telecom lease
  4. Deal structures
  5. Lease, license, or easement?
  6. Practical considerations in structuring a telecom lease
  7. Financing considerations
  8. Specific lease provisions
    1. Location of the equipment on the roof
    2. Description of the equipment
    3. Installation and removal
    4. Relocation
    5. Upgrades, modifications, and expansions
    6. Concealment techniques
    7. Emergency back-up power sources
    8. Host property maintenance and redevelopment language
    9. Lease renewals
    10. Subleasing, assignment rights, and right of first refusal
    11. Utility easements, staging areas, and parking
    12. Term
    13. Bonds and other security
    14. Casualty and condemnation
    15. Insurance
    16. Roof maintenance
    17. End of term obligations
    18. Termination rights
    19. Indemnities
    20. Sale of the host property
    21. Access
    22. Interference


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Marketplace trends regarding non-tower telecom leasing
  • Impact of rooftop telecom leases on future development of the property
  • Lease termination rights and risk mitigation steps for landlords
  • Is a telecom lease the best use for my roof?
  • Lease, license, or easement?


Givens, Bennett
Bennett A. Givens

Best Best & Krieger

Mr. Givens handles a variety of regulatory and transactional real estate and land use matters related to the...  |  Read More

Jaske, Gregory
Gregory H. Jaske

Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo

Mr. Jaske’s primary focus is on the Real Estate and Construction Practices. He has significant broad-based...  |  Read More

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