I have looked at many leases for friends and associates in the last few weeks. It seems everyone is getting lease offers in the mail in the Tarrant and Dallas county areas. This Barnett Shale activity is really heating up and the amount of urban leasing is reaching levels never seen before in the industry.
Most of the leases I have reviewed were not what I would expect to receive, neither in cash for the signing bonus nor in the amount of royalty to be paid to the landowners. But putting the money aside, there are a lot of things to consider in the lease.
I have started working with subdivisions to help them negotiate the lease for their property. This is something I do for no money upfront, rather, I take a percentage of the increased value for the signing bonus and royalty percentage that I am able to negotiate above what the initial offer made to the neighborhood. That way there is no cost to the property owners in the subdivision as I only make money if they make more money also.
But there is a lot more to consider than just bonus and royalty. There are many quality of life issues, disruption to daily activities, pollution (both environmental and things like noise), hours of activities, traffic flow, neighborhood improvements that might be negotiated as part of the lease, etc., etc, etc.
You see, a mineral lease is just as complicated as any other contract where substantial funds are going to be invested by sophisticated companies and investors. I can't imagine that people simply sign a lease sent to them without even thinking about the consequences of their actions. When you sign that lease you are "getting in bed" with a company for possibly decades. Don't you want to know who your partners are. Don't you want someone with the knowledge you don't have looking out for your interest when negotiations are taking place.
That is what I am hoping to help any interested subdivisions do, NEGOTIATE A VIABLE AND LIVEABLE LEASE. Get the money you want as well as the terms you must have to still enjoy your home as you always have been.