• A Landlord’s Perspective on Billboard Leases

    Carolina Calderon is an Oradell, New Jersey attorney whose firm Law Offices of Carolina Calderon Castro, LLC specializes in advising landlords on billboard issues.  Insider asked Calderon to talk about billboard leases from a landlord’s perspective.

    Carolina, how did you get involved with advising landlords on billboard leases?
     I became involved with the Billboard Industry when a big outdoor company approached my father to put Billboards on his commercial property.  In viewing the lease proposal that was submitted by that particular company, I realized that it was very unilateral one sided contract that  favored  the big company, and it completely disfavored the property owner, in this case my dad.  Luckily for my father, he had me, so I made sure that the contract favored both parties.
    If you could give one piece of advice to out of home advertising companies when they are dealing with landlords what would it be.
        My advice would be to understand the mindset of a landlord.  Many landlords are not well versed in the Billboard industry which happens to be a very niche type of business.  I think it important to have a fair agreement on both sides of the contract and not one that favors only one party of the contract.
    What insurance clauses may a landlord want in a billboard lease.
        Most if not all commercial leases including Billboard leases do not have the right language in the insurance section of the Lease Agreement.  I would say that 95% of attorney’s themselves do not pay sufficient attention in full detail to the language in the insurance provision.  Almost all leases contain language in the insurance section that deals with automobile language, personal injury.  This is incorrect.   Automobile collision language does not have anything to do with leases on retail, or Billboard Lease agreements.  So it is important to get the right language in the lease agreement because if something were to happen, the insurance companies will look to what is written in the  lease agreement and if it is not stated correctly, the insurance companies may not pay out and this would leave the landlord in a very vulnerable position.
    What are some other clauses which are important to landlords in billboard leases?
        It is important that landlords have indemnification clauses that would protect the landlord  against costs of suit, attorney fees etc if a lawsuit were to arise naming the the Billboard company and the landlord.   Another clause that should be embedded in the lease agreement should be removal of the structure at the end of the lease term.  Considerations should be given as to what happens to the structure at the end of the lease term.  Who will be responsible for the removal of the Advertising Structure.  Will the billboard company remove the advertising structure at grade level, or excavate the entire monopole?   Will the removal be subject to plans, specifications and permits?  It is important to have a plan in place for the future.

     


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