Getting Started

Having the following information will be helpful to build out your lease.  In the Farm Lease Builder there are numerous explanations of the questions asked, so it can be useful to go through it even if you don’t have all the information you need.  Also, you can complete a draft lease without having all the answers, download the word document produced at the end, and complete it later.  The exercise will take 30 – 90 minutes in total.

  • Landlord and tenant information, including names and address
  • Property information, including address, acreage to be leased, and legal description of the property
  • Any additional property to be leased in addition to land (houses, buildings, livestock)
  • The length of the lease, including the start and end date, and how you will renew and/or end the lease
  • The rent to be paid, whether it will stay the same or change, and at what frequency it will be paid (monthly, quarterly, annually)
  • Information regarding whether landlord or tenant is responsible for maintenance, repairs, and utilities 
  • A list of activities the farmer will be allowed to engage in on the land (i.e. retail operations, on-farm events, CSAs, etc.) and any that are not permissible
  • Any restrictions or requirements for how the land will be farmed, including conservation plans or easements, organic certification, chemical use, etc.
  • Any insurance requirements

See what a draft lease looks like here.

Working with Lawyers

Once you create your draft lease, you'll need to take it to a lawyer for review. Working with lawyers can seem stressful or intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Follow the link below for several resources on how to find a lawyer, what to expect from your lawyer, and how to get the most out of working with a lawyer (at a price you can afford).

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