HOW TO RESPOND TO A NEXTEL LEASE TERMINATION NOTICE
With the ongoing Sprint Network Vision program and the Nextel site decommissions, you may have received a letter terminating your Nextel cell site lease. While this is not good news due to the loss of lease income, it can get much worse. To successfully respond and protect your interests, we advise using the old adage "Stop, Look, and Listen."
STOP. First and foremost, you should stop to fully assess the situation. Since this is a nationwide program, it attempts to use standard and inflexible procedures to accomplish Sprint's goals. One such procedure is the use of vendors calling shortly after you get a lease termination notice offering a solution. The solution is typically to allow Sprint to leave nearly all its site infrastructure on your property so that it can be used by another cell company tenant. To accomplish this, the vendor presents you with a Lease Termination and General Release Agreement as part of the so-called "pay-and-walk" program. The vendor will also add that your site is due for full decommission soon and you must decide quickly what to do. Once you reach this stage of the process, you should stop to understand your options and rights.
LOOK. Next, take a good long look at your lease. Pay particular attention to the requirements for lease termination, site removal, property restoration, repairing damage, liability and indemnity. Most leases have provision that are in your favor. For example, the lease may state that the site must be removed within a specifc timeframe following lease termination. You may also be protected by indemnity language that extends beyond lease termination. After eyeballing your lease, go out to your site and take pictures of it. Notice how the site was installed and maintained. For example, was crane used to lift gear onto the roof? Is the equipment shelter underground? Get very familiar with the site and the possible complexities, timeframe and cost of removing it. If you have a "pay-and-walk" offer via the Lease Termination and General Release Agreement from Sprint or its vendor, look it over carefully and compare it with your lease. You may notice that this Agreement significantly alters and replaces terms in the lease.
LISTEN. Finally, you should listen closely to what Sprint's vendors tell you. Take notes. Ask questions. You should also seek out a trusted source of advice. Listen to your attorney or us here at Tower Seekers as we review your options and rights. Listen to your own voice of reason for the truth.
The Stop, Look and Listen approach to your Nextel decommission saga will help you get the facts and make good decisions. However, in some cases, despite your best efforts, the situation may drag on to the point where the lease is terminated and rent has discontinued but the site remains on your property. It becomes imperative at this point to seek knowledgable legal counsel. We can refer you to a good attorney.
Don't try to do this alone. There's too much at stake.