Earlier this week, we received a call from a landowner who had been contacted multiple times about their lease. The most recent series of attempts was from a person with a foreign accent who claimed to be from one of the US-based cell tower lease buyout firms. (We spoke with the buyout firm, and they confirmed it wasn’t one of their people). The agent represented that the buyout firm and the tower owner had merged and claimed that the landowner needed to share the lease information with the agent. Of course, that begs the question of why this agent would need to ask for a copy of the lease- as the tower company already has it.
When the landowner suggested that she wasn’t comfortable and needed to speak with her husband, the agent responded, “can’t you make decisions on your own?”. The landowner asked multiple times for the agent to stop calling, but that didn’t work. When she stopped answering their calls, they started calling on a line with no caller-ID. The agent became more aggressive when the landowner threatened to hang up and tried to transfer her to the “manager”.
This isn’t the first time.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time we have heard of people calling landowners and misrepresenting who they are. Previously, someone called landowners claiming to be a representative of our company. Once, someone claimed to have opened the “Italian” branch of Steel in the Air and was trying to scam older women into giving him money.
In most cases, you shouldn’t share your lease.
If someone calls claiming to be from the company that leases your property, asking for your lease, that’s a big red flag. Do not send it to them.
If a lease buyout company claims that they can’t make an offer on your lease without seeing a copy of it, move on to another lease buyout company. Any lease buyout company can make an offer based on the following information:
- Address of site
- Current lease rate
- Escalation and escalation terms
- Expiration Date of the Lease
- If there is a ROFR clause, you may need to share a snippet of it to get a legitimate offer.
If someone claims that they can market your property and get you more leases but need to see your leases, don’t share your lease. They likely just want to sign you up for a management agreement where they take a percentage of your lease.
If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from a lease buyout company, wireless carrier, or tower company and that person makes you uncomfortable, let them know you will call the number on that company’s website directly and check. If they try to give you another number to call, don’t trust them.
We may ask you for your lease. Here is why.
When landowners contact us- they fall into one of two groups. The first group are landowners that fully understand their lease and can share the fundamental details about the lease with us.
The other group doesn’t understand their lease. Alternatively, they have questions about the lease language or terms. In those cases, we find that it is helpful to review the actual lease. Our initial review of your lease or situation is free.
No matter what information you share with us, we pledge to keep it confidential. We don’t share your lease or the details of your lease with anyone outside of our company. We don’t sell your lease information or your contact information to anyone. We do add the information to our database – which we use to advise our clients but only as part of blended averages. We never share your identity or information about your specific lease(s).
If you are contacted by someone to share your lease information – please contact us. We will happily let you know whether it sounds legitimate or not and if not, redirect you to the correct people if necessary.