Rachel RespondsSeptember 21, 2018

Land leasing for your sustainable farm enterprise.

Question:

The owner of this farmland and I get along great! We don't really need a written lease, do we?

Answer:

We really think you do need a written lease. No matter how well you think you get along with the other party, a written lease can benefit you both. Even if you don't think you'll have any legal disputes with the landowner in the future, a written lease helps preserve everyone's memory as to the details. The process of writing the lease is helpful as it enocurages the parties to explore contingencies such as responsibilities for maintenance and repairs and how ou will resolve disputes if they should occur. There's really no downside to creating a written lease.

If you don't have a written lease, you should be aware of the default assumptions the law makes about your land agreement. Each state has its own set of default rules for when terms are not explicitly addressed in an agreement. Unwritten leases are also more difficult to enforce in court. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Farm Commons has several guides, checklists, and media presentations on the importance and details of written leases, including Drafting a Lease: Questions for Farmers and Landowners to Ask (downloadable checklist), the Farmland Leases Built to Last: Content and Legal Context webinar, and the podcast episode Write it Down!

Log in

Is this your first time here?