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Frequently Asked Questions:

What constitutes a good description of the premises in a farm lease – and why is it important?

A clear, precise description of the boundaries of the premises and any buildings or structures, along with any unusual characteristics, should be included in a farm lease. The parties need to know exactly what’s subject to the agreement, as do many third parties to the lease, such as an appraiser, a judge, or subsequent owner. All need to easily identify what’s included – and not included – in the leased premises and understand its condition at the outset of the lease. Thus, a clear and thorough description of what is (and is not) being leased is paramount. An adequate description depends in part on how elaborate the premises are. It could suffice to have a sentence or two about the location and external boundaries of a hay field. The description of the leased premises should include an address, a description of the boundaries, and a plot plan or diagram (which is typically attached as an appendix to the lease document). GIS and/or assessor maps, and photos (aerial, satellite and others) may also .

It’s also important that the lease establish a baseline condition of the premises so that the two parties’ discussions about expectations for maintenance and repair have a common starting point. Thus, more elaborate descriptions would include narrative descriptions of baseline conditions, photographs, building inspection reports, etc. 

Additionally, anything that is not defined as being part of the premises at the outset of the agreement is not subject to the agreement unless and until the lease is revised to include new areas or new components.  

See the Fact Sheet Describing the Premises

Posted in: Premises and Property, Lease Agreements