Rooftop Telecom Leasing: Practical Considerations, Key Provisions and Other Legal Considerations

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

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Conducted on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

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 need for high-speed communications has created a demand for leasing space on building rooftops. Telecom leases are typically long 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 for reasons such as loss of operating licenses or technological developments negatively impacting 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 slanted toward 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 and draft for 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 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?


Kisker, Stephen
Stephen A. Kisker

Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi

Mr. Kisker advises on all facets of commercial and residential real estate acquisition, development, financing,...  |  Read More

Webber, Janna
Janna Charlton Webber

Charlton Webber

Ms. Webber focuses her practice on telecommunications towers, easements, building use agreements, and office and retail...  |  Read More

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