Each of the lease buyout companies uses their own form of purchase agreement. Some companies require an easement while others will accept a simpler assignment of rents. The form used will determine what interest is being transferred under the transaction. The difference between an easement and an assignment document is set forth in the previous section (“What is the difference between an easement and assignment?”).
After the lease is sold, you, as the landlord, still retain certain obligations under the lease. Ideally, depending on your attorney, you will also maintain certain rights under the lease to ensure that you still maintain some control over the carrier tenants. The lease buyout company will assume the right to collect and receive rents under the lease; however, you as the property owner will want to retain the right to receive funds for any increase in taxes attributable to the carrier’s presence on the property. Also, be sure to retain the right to receive any other fees, e.g. landscaping, irrigation, or utility expenses that might be payable by the wireless carrier.
The goal should be to preserve as many landlord rights under the lease as possible while balancing the lease buyout company’s need for some control over the carrier tenant(s). How much landlord control is needed is often determined by whether the cell site is attached to a building or other structure. If the cell site is on raw land, then the amount of landlord control over the cell site is not typically as important. If the cell site is on a rooftop, then more landlord control may be needed to ensure that the landlord can maintain and repair the building effectively. Some lease buyout companies are more flexible in their terms than others. As such, if you are not able to maintain landlord rights that you deem important, it is prudent to check out other buyout companies, as some forms are more favorable than others.