It was recently announced that Rogers Communications has been awarded a $300 million contract to improve the coverage and capacity of cell networks in Eastern Ontario.
As part of this significant investment, we anticipate long-term leases will be required with landowners throughout Eastern Ontario to host the physical infrastructure needed to expand cell coverage (think: cell towers and utility lines etc.).
Our team regularly acts and negotiates on behalf of landowners when entering into long-term leases for physical infrastructure projects such as cell phone towers, wind turbines, solar PV ground mount and rooftop installations, and battery systems.
It is critical that landowners receive on-market advice as to what is fair compensation and appropriate decommissioning obligations before entering into these types of leases – including who should properly pay for that advice. While these leases may be initially presented as ’standard’ or non-negotiable, and while reputable companies often do present reasonable lease terms from the outset, every lease requires customization to ensure, for example, that leasehold footprints and access rights are appropriately depicted, that exclusive versus non-exclusive access rights are clarified and that access corridors, letdown areas, utility corridors, utility metering and property tax responsibilities are fairly and accurately set out in the lease. As well, no commercially reasonable lease should prevent landowners from enjoying the use of their remaining property during the term or from mortgaging or selling their property in the future.
Landowners should ensure they are not granting encumbrances or rights beyond what is reasonably necessary to host the physical infrastructure and that fair and accurate representations, warranties and indemnities in favour of the landowner are contained in the lease.
If you have been approached to enter into a lease to host a physical infrastructure project, speak to us before you sign on the dotted line! Associates Andrew Sapiano, Robert Maratta, and/or Mike Brown would be pleased to assist you in these matters.