Estoppels and Consents: what are they and should I sign?

Rob Turner Leases

At some point during the term of your lease, you’ve probably been asked to sign:

1) an estoppel certificate, or

2) consent to the tower company performing some type of work at the cell site on your property.

Before you sign any more requests like this, I want you to know that it’s important for you to have a cell

tower lease adviser review the document before you sign.

Why is it important? Those requests are legally binding on you!


Estoppel – this is a legally binding agreement between you and the party requesting the certificate.

Many times, this can be a bank or company that is purchasing the lease from your current tenant (e.g.

American Tower has sent numerous estoppel certificates (or lease confirmation letters) for the Verizon

Wireless cell tower leases that it purchased earlier this year. Estoppel certificates contain basic

information on the status of the lease, such as rent, term, whether there have been any defaults, etc.

The key is that if you have not reserved any matters (such as a default by the tenant), you may have

legally waived that right to later make a claim against the cell tower company (and potentially cost

yourself money!).

Consent – this is a type of approval. Hopefully your lease requires that the tenant obtain your consent

to certain actions at the cell tower before the tenant can act (e.g., adding new equipment, subtenants,

or running new fiber optic lines across your property to reach the cell tower). If you sign the consent,

you’re giving your legal ‘okay’ to the action. If you do not sign a consent, and the tenant acts any way,

they will be in default and you may be able to use that default to your advantage for negotiating other

provisions in the lease.

Remember: You must know and understand the terms of an estoppel or consent and the impact on

your cell tower lease before you sign it!

Tip for consents: Never verbally agree or “okay” any so-called “routine maintenance” at the cell site on

your property. If the tower company or carrier asks for your consent, they’re probably required to do

so. Have that company put the request in writing and then you should review that written request with

your cell tower adviser before signing.

Please contact us to discuss how our Team can help guide you through any questions.