What is a Farm Lease?
When to use a Farm Lease:
- You own farmland you want to lease to a tenant.
- You would like to rent farmland from someone who does not have a lease form.
- You want to give legal permission to a neighboring farm to work your land for a season.
- Your land is for sale but you want it worked until it sells by another farmer or rancher.
This Lease Agreement (this "Lease") is made effective as of , by and between ("Landlord"), This Lease Agreement (this "Lease") is made effective as of , by and between and , ("Landlord"), and and the following tenants:
Subject to the terms and conditions stated below the parties agree as follows:
PREMISES. Landlord, in consideration of the lease payments provided in this Lease, leases to Tenant (the "Premises") located at , , .
TERM. The lease term will begin on and will terminate on .
LEASE PAYMENTS. Tenant shall pay to Landlord installments of , payable in advance on the first day of each month a payment is due. Lease payments shall be made to Landlord at , , , which location may be changed from time to time by Landlord.
POSSESSION. Tenant shall be entitled to possession on the first day of the term of this Lease, and shall yield possession to Landlord on the last day of the term of this Lease, unless otherwise agreed by both parties in writing. At the expiration of the term, Tenant shall remove its goods and effects and peaceably yield up the Premises to Landlord in as good condition as when delivered to Tenant, ordinary wear and tear excepted.
EXISTING CROPS: Tenant is to have the crops now planted and growing, and on leaving Tenant is to seed as many acres of crops as was found on the leased premises when Tenant took possession.
NO PARTNERSHIP. Nothing in this lease shall create a partnership, joint venture, employment, or any other relationship between Lessor and Lessee, than that of landlord and tenant. Neither party shall be liable, except as otherwise expressly provided herein, for the other party's obligations or liabilities. Tenant shall indemnify and hold Landlord and his property, including the Premises, free and harmless from all obligations and liabilities incurred by Lessee in conducting farming or other operations on the Premises, whether under this lease or otherwise.
USE OF PREMISES/ABSENCES. The Premises shall be used for the purpose of planting, growing, and harvesting of crops; The feeding, pasturing, maintenance, and production of agricultural livestock; and The Premises shall not be used for any other purpose without Landlord's prior written consent. Tenant shall carry on all of the activities specified above in accordance with good husbandry and the best practices of the farming community in which the leased premises are situated. Tenant shall, at Tenant's cost and expense, comply with any and all laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, requirements, and orders present or future, of any federal, state, county, or municipal governments which may in any way apply to the use, maintenance, operations, or production of crops on the leased premises, or the sale or disposition of those crops. Tenant agrees not to apply pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, or other chemical treatments that will have a residual effect beyond the term of this lease except with the prior written consent of Landlord.
DISEASE OR BLIGHT. If any disease or blight of any character appears on the Premises or in or on any crop growing or grown on the Premises, Tenant shall, at its expense:
(a) Employ the best known methods for eradicating such disease or blight; and
(b) Consult with and follow the advice of all experts on the subject recommended by Landlord, who have offices or reside within fifty miles of the Premises.
PROPERTY INSURANCE. Landlord and Tenant shall each be responsible to maintain appropriate insurance for their respective interests in the Premises and property located on the Premises. Tenant shall, at its expense, insure for their full insurable value, through insurance policies issued by companies acceptable to Landlord, any crops specified in this lease being grown by it on the Premises against damage or destruction by flood, fire, hail, and windstorms. The loss under any such policy shall be payable to Landlord and Tenant according to their respective interests in the crop.
MAINTENANCE. Landlord shall have the responsibility to maintain any structures located on the Premises in good repair at all times and perform all repairs necessary to satisfy any implied warranty of habitability except that Tenant shall be responsible for: ..
UTILITIES AND SERVICES. Landlord shall be responsible for all utilities and services in connection with the Premises.Tenant shall pay all costs in connection with Tenant's operations on the leased premises, including but not limited to costs of preparing the leased premises for planting of crops, production costs, costs of tools and labor, electricity and other utilities. Landlord shall be responsible for in connection with the Premises and Tenant shall be responsible for and any utilities and services not listed here.
TAXES. Landlord shall pay all real estate taxes which may be levied against the Premises. However, Tenant shall pay, before delinquency, all personal property taxes or assessments levied on Tenant's personal property situated in or about the leased premises during the term of this lease. On demand, Tenant shall provide to Landlord satisfactory evidence of payment of taxes
TERMINATION UPON SALE OF PREMISES. Landlord may terminate this lease upon sixty (60) days` written notice to Tenant that the Premises have been sold. Should the property be sold to anyone other than the Tenant, Tenant will be given reasonable opportunity and allowance to complete the current growing season and harvest any crops thereon.
DESTRUCTION OR CONDEMNATION OF PREMISES. If the Premises are damaged or destroyed by fire or other casualty to the extent that enjoyment of the dwelling unit or farmland is substantially impaired, Landlord, in its sole discretion may elect to repair the Premises or terminate the Lease upon thirty (30) days' written notice to Tenant. If the Premises are condemned or cannot be repaired, this Lease will terminate upon twenty (20) days' written notice by either party.
DEFAULTS. Tenant shall be in default of this Lease if Tenant fails to fulfill any lease obligation or term by which Tenant is bound. Subject to any governing provision of law to the contrary, if Tenant fails to cure any financial obligation within days (or any other obligation within days) after written notice of such default is provided by Landlord to Tenant, Landlord may elect to cure such default and the cost of such action shall be added to Tenant's financial obligations under this Lease. All sums of money or charges required to be paid by Tenant under this Lease shall be additional rent, whether or not such sums or charges are designated as "additional rent." The rights provided by this paragraph are cumulative in nature and are in addition to any other rights afforded by law.
LATE PAYMENTS. For any payment that is not paid within days after its due date, Tenant shall pay a late fee of .LATE PAYMENTS. For each payment that is not paid within days after its due date, Tenant shall pay a late fee of per day, beginning with the day after the due date.LATE PAYMENTS. For each payment that is not paid within days after its due date, Tenant shall pay a late fee equal to % of the required payment.
HOLDOVER. If Tenant maintains possession of the Premises for any period after the termination of this Lease ("Holdover Period"), Tenant shall pay to Landlord lease payment(s) during the Holdover Period at a rate equal to 150% of the most recent rate preceding the Holdover Period. Such holdover shall constitute a month-to-month extension of this Lease.
CUMULATIVE RIGHTS. The rights of the parties under this Lease are cumulative, and shall not be construed as exclusive unless otherwise required by law.
NON-SUFFICIENT FUNDS. Tenant shall be charged the maximum amount allowable under applicable law for each check that is returned to Landlord for lack of sufficient funds.
REMODELING OR STRUCTURAL IMPROVEMENTS. Tenant shall have the obligation to conduct any construction or remodeling (at Tenant's expense) that may be required to use the Premises as specified above. Tenant may also construct such fixtures on the Premises (at Tenant's expense) that appropriately facilitate its use for such purposes. Such construction shall be undertaken and such fixtures may be erected only with the prior written consent of Landlord, which shall not be unreasonably withheld. At the end of the lease term, Tenant shall be entitled to remove (or at the request of Landlord, shall remove) such fixtures, and shall restore the Premises to substantially the same condition of the Premises at the commencement of this Lease.
ACCESS BY LANDLORD TO PREMISES. Subject to Tenant's consent, (which shall not be unreasonably withheld), Landlord shall have the right to enter the Premises to make inspections, provide necessary services, or show the unit to prospective buyers, mortgagees, tenants or workers. However, Landlord does not assume any liability for the care or supervision of the Premises. As provided by law, in the case of an emergency, Landlord may enter the Premises without Tenant's consent. During the last three months of this Lease, or any extension of this Lease, Landlord shall be allowed to display the usual "To Let" signs and show the Premises to prospective tenants.
DANGEROUS MATERIALS. Tenant shall not keep or have on the Premises any article or thing of a dangerous, flammable, or explosive character that might substantially increase the danger of fire on the Premises, or that might be considered hazardous by a responsible insurance company, unless the prior written consent of Landlord is obtained and proof of adequate insurance protection is provided by Tenant to Landlord.
MECHANICS LIENS. Neither Tenant nor anyone claiming through the Tenant shall have the right to file mechanics liens or any other kind of lien on the Premises and the filing of this Lease constitutes notice that such liens are invalid. Further, Tenant agrees to (1) give actual advance notice to any contractors, subcontractors or suppliers of goods, labor, or services that such liens will not be valid, and (2) take whatever additional steps that are necessary in order to keep the premises free of all liens resulting from construction done by or for the Tenant.
SUBORDINATION OF LEASE. This Lease is subordinate to any mortgage that now exists, or may be given later by Landlord, with respect to the Premises.
ASSIGNABILITY/SUBLETTING. Tenant may not assign or sublease any interest in the Premises, nor assign, mortgage or pledge this Lease, without the prior written consent of Landlord, which shall not be unreasonably withheld.
NOTICE. Notices under this Lease shall not be deemed valid unless given or served in writing and forwarded by mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the party at the appropriate address set forth below. Such addresses may be changed from time to time by either party by providing notice as set forth below. Notices mailed in accordance with these provisions shall be deemed received on the third day after posting.
GOVERNING LAW. This Lease shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Commonwealth of .
ENTIRE AGREEMENT/AMENDMENT. This Lease contains the entire agreement of the parties and there are no other promises, conditions, understandings or other agreements, whether oral or written, relating to the subject matter of this Lease. This Lease may be modified or amended in writing, if the writing is signed by the party obligated under the amendment.
SEVERABILITY. If any portion of this Lease shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Lease is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid and enforceable, then such provision shall be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.
WAIVER. The failure of either party to enforce any provisions of this Lease shall not be construed as a waiver or limitation of that party's right to subsequently enforce and compel strict compliance with every provision of this Lease.
BINDING EFFECT. The provisions of this Lease shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of both parties and their respective legal representatives, successors and assigns.
Final Checklist for Farm Lease
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Next Steps: Make it Legal
|_____||Look over the Farm Lease to ensure it matches your intentions. If you'd like to make changes, you can download this document in Microsoft Word, or you can make edits using the Document Manager on Rocketlawyer.com.|
|_____||You can use Rocket Lawyer's e-signature service to electronically have each party sign the document. Or, have the parties sign and date duplicate hard copies of the Farm Lease.|
|_____||Some states require that if a lease exceeds a specified number of years, it must be recorded in the public records, which, in turn, usually requires that the document be notarized. If the original term of the Lease will extend beyond one year, you should review the specific requirements of the governing state with respect to notarizing and/or recording the Lease.|
Give a signed copy of the Lease to:
Reasons to Update
|_____||Your current lease is expiring and the property will be re-leased.|
|_____||There has been a change in circumstances of either Landlord or Tenant which requires changes in the lease, mutually agreed upon by both parties.|
Members can always consult an attorney at no extra cost!
|*||If you have quick questions or wish to review this document with an attorney, you can do so for free. Rocket Lawyer's On Call® service makes it fast and easy to speak with a local attorney. Get started by visiting the Find a Lawyer tab on our site, or calling (866) 243-2183.|
Farm Lease FAQs
What is a cash-rent Farm Lease Agreement?
There are different types of farm rental arrangements, but this document from Rocket Lawyer is specifically for what is often called a "cash-rent" Farm Lease Agreement. This means that the tenant pays for the use of the land, but the land owner does not share a percentage of the income generated from crops or livestock. The advantage to this type of agreement is that the land owner receives predictable, scheduled payments. The disadvantage is that they don't receive a possible larger payment if the tenant has an exceptional year.
If you want to take a part of the crop or livestock risk/gain as the land owner, you can enter a Crop-Share Lease Agreement. For this type of lease, you should work with a lawyer to make sure your agreement meets your specific needs.
Do I need a farm lease agreement?
Even if you are renting from or leasing to a longtime friend or neighbor, it is crucial to record the details of each rental in a lease. You might decide that you want this document because, when made properly, it grants the following benefits:
- There are no surprises about how long the rental lasts
- All parties understand their responsibilities
- Everyone knows when rent payments are expected
Some consequences of not signing this document might include property damage, unexpected changes to the rental arrangement, unauthorized usage of the property, and late or unpaid fees.
How is a Farm Lease template normally structured?
Specifics that you should plan to cover in a Farm Lease are:
- A description of your property
- How the land can be used and what condition it should be in at the end of the lease
- The lessee's contact information
- What the duration of the rental will be
- What rental fees will be charged and when they are due
- Maintenance details for structures, such as barns, equipment, fencing and more
Farm Leases made on Rocket Lawyer include details about the relationship between the landlord and tenant, namely that there is no business partnership or joint venture in place. The contract also states that creditors or others cannot put liens on property the landlord owns to collect from the tenant. Finally, the agreement limits the tenant to using the property for only planting, growing and harvesting of crops or the feeding, pasturing, maintenance or production of agricultural livestock. It restricts tenants from using any type of chemicals that will cause long-term effects on the land and it disallows dangerous materials to be stored on the premises.
As you may expect from a document like this one, a Farm Lease will also include rules related to past due fees, insurance and liability, the owner's option to sell, and governing law. Further personalization is permitted, if necessary.
On average, what would I typically need to pay for a Farm Lease?
The cost of finding and working with your average law firm could total anywhere from several hundred dollars to thousands, if your matter is complex. If you have decided to draft this free document with Rocket Lawyer, you will need to use the following directions. You can always ask an attorney in our nationwide network to review it for you after generating it.
What is a fair lease rate?
To be frank, you can charge whatever the lessee agrees to (which may or may not be in everyone's best interest), but to determine a fair lease amount, you will need to balance expenditures and potential gains. Ideally, both parties will have their expenses met and both will enjoy a profit. If you are thinking about a long-term agreement, you'll want to try to ensure that the tenant can maintain your land well and afford ongoing expenses.
If your tenant will be growing the same crops that you are accustomed to doing yourself, you should have a good idea about what the expenses and yields might be. You may also want to look up the current rates for land in your area.
Who pays for irrigation maintenance?
You and your tenant can decide how to cover these expenses. During the term of the agreement, the landlord still owns the irrigation system, but the tenant will be using it. Here are some possible solutions:
- The landlord pays all the maintenance expenses.
- The owner pays for parts, but the tenant pays for the labor.
- The tenant pays up to an agreed upon amount and the owner pays the rest on major repairs.
Are grain bins included in the lease?
Grain bins are not exclusively included in this lease, but you can customize this lease or create a separate equipment lease for use of your grain bins. If the tenant chooses to lease your bins or bring in other pieces of equipment, make sure to consider the amount of utilities required to operate or maintain them.
What if residential units are on the property?
Often farm or ranch land will include residential buildings such as single-family homes, bunkhouses, or mobile homes. You can choose to include those in the lease or you may even keep residing in one of the buildings as part of your agreement. However, even if you do not charge extra rent for these buildings, you should have a standard residential Lease Agreement in place so you can control who lives in the houses, how long guests can stay, and how repairs are made.
Will someone be able to check my Farm Lease?
Finding someone to proofread your agreement might take a long time if you do it on your own. An easier approach worth consideration is to get help via Rocket Lawyer attorney services . Rocket Lawyer Premium members are able to request a document review from an attorney with relevant experience or send other questions. When managing your rentals, you can Work Confidently® with Rocket Lawyer by your side.
Is anything else required after I have created a Farm Lease?
To make this contract truly legal, you need to sign it, electronically or otherwise. RocketSign® makes the online signature process easy. With a Premium membership, you also may make a copy of it, download it in PDF format or as a Word document, or print it as necessary. Once you're finished, all signers should get copies of the fully executed contract. You may also wish to explore our entire collection of additional legal documents .