The latest cell phone tower leasing gimmick we’ve come across is tower companies using “Letters of Intent” as a tool to get homeowners to unknowingly sign what they think is a harmless letter. Some people are led to believe that this is “just a way to fix these terms with our bosses” or “just a letter of understanding so that we can investigate the use of the site.” Well these letters are not simple but I can tell you what they are in many cases … legally binding!
One of the people who fell in love with this cell site leasing tactic was not naive in the way they did business. In fact, they were very smart real estate developers who assumed they could trust the lovely young woman who ran things for the cell phone tower company. They signed a very detailed document that locked them into an agreement in which the carrier could impose its will on the owners. I’m sure Ms. Charming got a good financial incentive for taking advantage of this over-confident landlord. This error cost them more than $ 250,000.00 in lost income, over a thirty-year period, that they would have earned had they been properly informed before executing their cell tower lease.
Why would you have to sign some kind of agreement before seeing the terms? When you go shopping for a car, would you sign a letter saying that you will buy a car for $ 40,000.00 and give them your money in the hopes that they will give you a brand new BMW when they deliver a 1975 Pinto? No, of course not.
Here you have another question. Why would someone try to get you to sign something unless it is binding and can be used against you in a court of law? There is no other reason … this is why they are trying to get you to sign this. The only person who is locked into something is you and usually in a very one-sided way and only benefits the carriers and tower companies.
The cell phone tower leasing consultants you hire are charming and friendly and may remind you of your brother, cousin, or son. Some are good people who are just doing their job. Many of them are sharks that smell a quick buck and would shove you down a flight of stairs for a penny. Either way, they don’t work for you … They’re hired guns that work for carriers and tower companies.
If you are a property owner or owner and a cell phone operator or cell phone tower developer has approached to install a cell site on your property, this is the rule of thumb for dealing with tower companies or carriers trying to make you sign a “Letter of Intent” ……. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING !!!!!!! Call your attorney or, better yet, call a qualified wireless consultant who can guide you and fight for your rights and needs. Carriers have experts … why shouldn’t you?