What used to be forgotten, unused space is now becoming one of the most innovative areas in real estate development. From cellular installations to bars, gardens, and even micro-farm beekeeping, rooftops are being transformed to accommodate many uses; however, this newfound versatility brings unique obstacles and unexpected consequences for building owners.
Rooftop leases bring obvious benefits to a property. They provide additional rental income, add to the building’s amenities, and increase the building’s value. With those benefits, however, come detriments. Rooftop installations can interfere with maintenance and repair of the roof and, even worse, contribute to structural issues relating to the roof’s integrity.
Rooftop uses can also lead to a loss of building-owner autonomy—interfering, or limiting, redevelopment and expansion capabilities, creating building access issues, and interfering with existing occupants.
Building owners that strategically negotiate rooftop lease agreements can effectively mitigate the detriments associated with rooftop developments while maximizing the benefits. An owner quick to enter a rooftop occupancy agreement may find itself responsible for unexpected obligations. Each particular use of rooftop space requires specific consideration to benefit the owner and mitigate liability and expense.
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