Site Examples

Rooftop Antenna Leases

Twenty years ago property owners never would have thought building rooftops would be a potential income source. Today there are thousands of cellular or other wireless rooftop leases across the country. For those property owners who have these leases, it can be a boon - or a boondoggle....

Rooftop antenna site leases are great in that a property owner can generate income from a portion of the property that is not otherwise leasable. It can also be problematic as the rooftop protects the rest of the property from the elements, and rooftop antenna site leases tend to increase the wear and tear on the roof.

For example, there are multiple methods of installing rooftop antennas. The methods proposed by the wireless tenants may not take into account future rooftop maintenance or an installation method that would minimize impact to the roof. Property owners typically don't knows what installation options are available, simply because this is not something that property owners have much experience with. 

Additionally, most wireless carriers and cell tower companies use contractors to perform all work on their cell tower and rooftop antenna sites. This means that your tenant rarely, if ever, physically visits the rooftop wireless site. The cell tower contractors are directed to perform maintenance work quickly, and within budget. They are not familiar with your rooftop and any special care needed. If a property owner is not watching installation methods, weight loading, and other uses of their roof by their cellular or wireless tenants, no one will be.

Some property owners have told us they were not initially concerned about any issues with their wireless rooftop tenants because any work on the roof was permitted through the city or county, and the tenants always performed structural inspections. Most property owners are not familiar with the process of installing or upgrading a cellular antenna on a rooftop, and trust their wireless tenant to perform the work properly. In our experience, this is not always the case.

Even in light of the above, rooftop wireless leases are still an excellent source of income, if (i) the wireless rooftop lease is written in a way that protects the property, and (ii) the rooftop is managed proactively.

Gunnerson Consulting has extensive experience with rooftop wireless leases. Our experience shows that active management, with attention to details can not only provide fewer problems over the term of the lease, but also a more profitable lease for the property owner.

If you have questions about your rooftop wireless lease, click here to contact us for a free initial review.