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Selling Your Cell Tower Lease in the 5G Era


Do you know how to respond when someone offers to purchase your cell tower lease?Property owners with a lease for a cell tower on their property routinely receive six-figure offers to buy the lease and future leasing rights.

While attractive, those offers pose unusual legal, financial, and technical risks that the property owner and its regular attorney typically are not familiar with. For example, is it true that the advent of 5G cell service is a reason to sell leases now. The program will also cover cell lease sales as a source of funds for water system and other municipal capital projects, such as projects too small to warrant a bond issue. This program will guide property owners and their attorneys as they evaluate and respond to such offers. It includes covering what drives the offers, current sales prices, how to evaluate financial terms to determine whether selling makes sense (and when it doesn't). You will be better able to evaluate purchase offers, identify and modify the very one-sided documents offered by purchasers, and address some of the risks involved in a sale. Such risks include making sure the property owner is not hindered in developing or using its property, insurance and bankruptcy protections. Local governments face all of the preceding issues, plus special questions of municipal authority, bond covenants/IRS restrictions, compliance with procurement statutes, prohibitions on waste, and risks of accidently triggering property reverters.



John W. Pestle, Esq.

John W. Pestle, Esq.

Varnum LLP

  • Chair of the Telecommunications Group at Varnum LLP law firm
  • Representing property owners nationwide on cell leases for 27 years
  • Helped clients sell over 100 cell leases
  • Graduate of Harvard, Yale, and Michigan Law School
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 616-336-6725
Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq.

Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq.

Telecom Law Firm, P.C.

  • Senior partner at Telecom Law Firm, P.C. with offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Seattle
  • Attorney admitted in California and New Mexico
  • Wireless leasing and zoning experience for more than 25 years
  • Radio frequency telecom engineer for more than 40 years
  • Doctor of Law and Policy, Northeastern University
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 310-312-9900, ext. 121

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