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Ford County

Ag Lease Law

It is estimated that more than 50 percent of Kansas farmland and pastureland is rented. Many producers cannot maintain a viable business without operating through lease arrangements.

Different lease types have been developed to meet the needs of the modern Kansas farmer and rancher. Publications are available at your local Ford County K-State Research and Extension Office and online at www.agmanager.info.

A lease is a contract for the exclusive use of land for a specific period. There are at least two parties to any lease: 1) the landowner who owns the land, also known as the lessor; and 2) the tenant who farms or operates the land, also known as the lessee. Certain rights and obligations binding both parties arise from the relationship. When the land is leased, the lease is equivalent to a sale of the premises for the length of the lease. The tenant essentially before the owner for a time and has the responsibilities of one who is in possession of the land.

It is important that both parties to a farm or ranch lease understand the details of their lease agreement and the laws that affect their lease. A lease is a contract and terms of the lease will be interpreted and enforced in light of contract law. Provisions of statues, ordinances and regulations are read into and become a part of the contract by implication as though they were expressly written into the contract, except where the parties have shown a contrary intention.


Terms of the Lease

A lease is subject to the landowner's title. A landowner can only convey or lease that which he has. Where the landowner has conveyed permanent or temporary rights to others, such as conservation easements or hunting leases, subsequent production leases are usually subject to the prior conveyances. It is important to understand the scope and nature of any outstanding agreements affecting the property before finalizing a new lease.

A person in the possession of real property with the agreement of the owner is presumed to be a tenant at will. A tenant at will holds possession of premises by permission of the owner but without a fixed length of time. When land is leased for one or more years and the tenant, with the consent of the landowner, continues to occupy the premises after the expiration of the agreed term, the tenant is deemed to be a tenant from year-to-year and holds the land for succeeding year-long leases until the landowner gives proper notice to terminate.

More Information



The following information is intended to provide general information only. It is not, and must not be used as, a substitute for legal counsel. Information supplied is limited by considerations of space an d the laws and statutes that exist at the time of its publication. The laws are subject to change yearly through legislative procedures and judicial determinations. Accordingly, this information is is not a complete analysis of all of the laws or case decisions and their effects and exceptions. If you have specific questions, you should contact an attorney. Otherwise, you may jeopardize your legal rights.

Terminating Leases

Lease Termination

 Oral Arrangements

If a farm or pasture lease is oral, not in writing, certain provisions in the Kansas Statutes automatically become part of the lease. An oral agreement may be legally enforceable, but it is much more desirable to spell out the agreement's details in writing.

A written lease will help resolve disputes that might arise between the parties because they can refer to the written instrument to review their agreement. Memories of an oral agreement might be selective and certainly less than perfect.

 A written lease does not have to be a detailed contract. A memorandum or note concerning the lease may be sufficient if the party against whom it will be enforced signs it. Lease agreements that cannot be performed within 1 year from the time the lease agreement is made must be in writing to be legally enforceable.