Site Sale Agreements

You may from time to time be approached by third parties either seeking to take a lease of your interest in the telecoms site (an overriding lease) to then sub-let it on to the operator(s), or alternatively to pay you a one-off capital payment to buy the site. We asked Michael Watson, a member of the Shulmans telecoms team, to tell us more about these arrangements.

Michael, why would someone want to take an overriding lease of my site, to then sub-let to the operator(s)?

Whilst there is nothing amiss with this arrangement in theory, it does pay to be cautious.

On the one hand, if you have a large multi-operator site, for example, then you might consider that your just having one tenant to collect rent from and oversee to be a worthwhile arrangement for your specific circumstances, so that you can get on with your day-to-day core business.

On the other hand, any such party must feel that they can make a profit by paying you less than you could get direct.

Clearly, therefore, you need some proper expert advice, including valuation input, before agreeing to any such arrangement, so that you can make that decision with your eyes open.

What about selling the site altogether?

Similarly, there are organisations which offer a one-off capital payment for a site. Now, a one-off lump sum may be the route you want to take financially and it also removes the risk, for example, that the telecom operator(s) decides to vacate the site and cut-off the income stream.

Just make sure, however, that the site is first offered to the wider market and not just the one purchaser who approaches you. You may be able to get more than they are offering – they may even be planning to sell your site straight on to a third party for a profit. This feeds back into the point we always make about being wary of supposedly “independent” advisers, who might have a financial interest or other conflict of interest in the deal going through.

We can put you in touch with expert telecoms surveyors who can put a proper market value on the site before you commit to anything.

How much will it cost?

Having taken independent and impartial advice from Shulmans on these issues, if you do decide to go down either of these routes, then we can complete the deal swiftly and cost effectively for you.

In many instances, the operator will agree to pay your reasonable legal and agent’s fees as part of the deal.

Our team

Michael Watson


Head of Property Litigation

Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 1850

Helen Hill


Property Litigation

Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 3770

Richard Robinson


Property Litigation

Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 3783

Kieran Wilkinson


Real Estate

Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 7730