___ Date the lease is entered into.
___ Names and addresses of the landlord and tenant.
___ Legal description of the leased property.
___ Signatures of the landlord and tenant.
___Time period of the lease, including beginning and ending dates.
___Renewal option available after initial term.
___Rental amount for cash lease; respective shares and contributions if a crop-share lease.
___When and how rent will be paid and penalties for late payments.
___Who will carry property and liability insurance, and who will insure the crop.
___Who is responsible for paying property taxes.
___Who is responsible for special assessments.
___Which party owns equipment on the property that is used by tenant in his farming operation.
___Statement that the landlord and tenant do not intend to create a partnership by entering into the agreement.
___Hold harmless/Indemnity provision.
___Conditions under which the tenant may or may not sub-lease the property or assign his rights under the lease.
___If the land is enrolled in an agricultural district, providing protection against nuisance suits over farm operations and additional review if land is taken by eminent domain.
___When and how the lease may be terminated and requirements for notice of termination.
___Reimbursement provisions for crop nutrients, lime and/or completed fieldwork upon termination of the lease.
___Acts of the tenant that would constitute default of the lease and remedies for default.
___Time allowed to cure default and amount of notice required in case of default.
___Tenant's rights if the property is transferred or condemned during the lease period.
___Reimbursement provisions for a crop still in the ground when the lease is terminated.
___Desired or prohibited farming practices, including types of chemicals that may not be used on the property.
___Process of measuring and maintaining soil fertility and pH levels.
___Which party is responsible for controlling noxious weeds.
___Which party is responsible for maintaining fences.
___Whether the tenant has the right to make improvements and be compensated for improvements.
___Whether the tenant has the right to utilize improvements made by the landlord.
___Provisions for soil-conservation practices.
___Statement regarding the existing environmental status of the property and responsibility to minimize activities that may cause contamination.
___Use of non-cropland, garden plots, trees, buildings, grain bins, pasture or other areas not rented for cropland.
___Landlord's right to enter the property for specific purposes.
___Landlord's right to a security interest in the crops or other provisions for ensuring payment.
___Statement of which party will participate in federal farm programs, including responsibility for eligibility and receipt of payments.
___Nature of landlord participation in management. This may relate to issues regarding income and self-employment, taxes, social security payments, and estate planning.
___Provision that any amendments must be in writing and signed by both parties.
___Procedure for resolving disputes, including the applicable state statutes.
___General agreement, sharing of crops and tenant's contribution of machinery and labor. Each party should share returns in the same proportion as resources are contributed.
___Sharing of operating expenses, generally variable expenses are shared in the same percentage as the crop share; if there are adjustments for no-till, custom application, liming or any new technologies adopted.
___Storage and/or delivery of landlords share of crops.
___Compensation upon termination of the lease.
___What records are to be kept by whom and how will this information be shared.
If the term of the lease is for more than one year, it must be written to be legally enforceable. It also should be reviewed each year to ensure the terms are still desirable. Multiple year agreements require the following:
Up to 1 year
Verbal can be enforceable
Must be in writing and signed by the parties.
NOTE: although not necessary to create a binding agreement between the parties to the lease, the tenant should promptly record the lease in the county where the property is located to establish priority over subsequent transferees/creditors of the property owner.
This fact sheet is not intended to take the place of sound legal advice required by any party entering into a contractual relationship.