Negotiating and Drafting Rooftop Telecom Leases: Equipment Concerns, Operating Licenses, Termination Provisions

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

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Conducted on Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

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


The explosive growth of the telecommunications marketplace and the need for high-speed communications has created a demand for leasing space on building rooftops. Telecom leases 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 rooftop lease if technological developments negatively impact the equipment's usefulness and their right to remain in the designated location as long as it is profitable for them.

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

Listen as our authoritative panel of real estate and telecommunications counsel discusses marketplace trends for rooftop telecom leasing. The panel will impart knowledge on negotiating and drafting telecom rooftop leases 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 rooftop space.



  1. Current trends in rooftop 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 rooftop telecom lease
  7. Financing considerations for rooftop telecom leases
  8. Specific lease provisions
    1. Location of the equipment on the roof
    2. Description of the equipment
    3. Installation and removal
    4. Host property maintenance and redevelopment language
    5. Lease renewals
    6. Subleasing, assignment rights, and right of first refusal
    7. Utility easements, staging areas, and parking
    8. Term
    9. Bonds and other security
    10. Casualty and condemnation
    11. Insurance
    12. Roof maintenance
    13. End of term obligations
    14. Termination rights
    15. Indemnities
    16. Sale of the host property
    17. Access
    18. Interference


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Marketplace trends regarding rooftop 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?


Odom, Hugh
Hugh D. Odom

Founder & President
Vertical Consultants

Mr. Odom has over 20 years of legal/transactional experience in real estate and telecommunications. Prior to founding...  |  Read More

Turner, Robert
Robert Turner

Founding Member
InTown Legal

Mr. Turner has a unique blend of larger firm experience, having worked at two regional southeastern law firms and...  |  Read More

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