Tenant churn, poor communication or unmet expectations are just a few reasons you might want to end your lease agreement this year. Depending on your location and the specifics of your lease, you have a few important steps to take.
Regardless of the type of lease agreement—written, verbal or multiple year—the first step is clear communication with your tenant, explain University of Nebraska educators and law specialists Allan Vyhnalek, Jessica Groskopf and J. David Aiken.
Verbal leases or those based on a handshake can cause lease disputes, as each party might have different recollections of the deal. That’s why experts stress leases should be in writing. But because many leases are not, the team has provided what you should know about terminating various types of lease agreements.
Verbal Leases: Handshake leases that are renewed annually require notice of termination. The termination deadline and notice depends on your state, so check the local rules. In Nebraska, for example, a landlord must give the tenant a termination notice no later than Sept. 1 or six months in advance of the end of the lease. Other states have a 60-day termination deadline and other ending dates for the agricultural lease year.
Legal experts recommend you terminate the lease via registered mail, so your tenant signs for the letter, which provides evidence the termination notice was received.
Written Leases: A written farm lease benefits both the landowner and tenant, as both parties agree on the responsibilities, rights, desires and needs. In a written lease, the lease period and termination deadlines are defined and can be adapted to the parcel of land, use of the land and other factors.
Pasture Leases: The rules are slightly different for pasture leases. A typical verbal pasture lease in some states is for the five-month grazing season. Then the lease is terminated. However, different lease length arrangements can be made in a written lease.
For more guidance on farm leases and to download sample leases, visit aglease101.org.
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