Read This Before You Sign a Letter of Intent

An older couple received a letter of intent, or LOI, about land a solar company wanted to lease, but it exhibited some valuable-to-know red flags.

A man with a serious look on his face stands in his foyer and reads a letter he just received.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Arizona readers Sandy and Jim, both 80, sent me this email with an offer they almost accepted: “We own 100 acres of land ideal for a solar farm and just received a letter of intent (LOI) from a San Francisco company wanting to lease it. All we do is pay taxes on it, so we were about to sign and return the document when we came across your article ‘Leases of vacant land for solar farms pose great risks to owners.’ What do you think of this LOI? Thanks.”

After reading, I handed the LOI to my paralegal, Anne, and said, “Please give me your opinion of this LOI.” She carefully went through the document. After handing it back to me, she said, “This has made not just my day, but my entire week. It is laughable. Thank goodness they found your article.”

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H. Dennis Beaver, Esq.
Attorney at Law, Author of "You and the Law"

After attending Loyola University School of Law, H. Dennis Beaver joined California's Kern County District Attorney's Office, where he established a Consumer Fraud section. He is in the general practice of law and writes a syndicated newspaper column, "You and the Law." Through his column he offers readers in need of down-to-earth advice his help free of charge. "I know it sounds corny, but I just love to be able to use my education and experience to help, simply to help. When a reader contacts me, it is a gift."