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.