Terminate a Lease
For all leases, except written leases signed by the parties that provide otherwise, Kansas law provides that notice to terminate farm and pastureland leases must be given as follows:
- in writing
- at least 30 days prior to March 1, and
- must fix March 1 as the termination date of the tenancy.
Any notice to terminate which does not comply with the above requirements is inadequate and the tenancy will continue. The Kansas legislature has amended the previous law to now clearly state that pastureland leases and farm leases must be terminated in this manner except when the parties agree otherwise in writing.
It is important to note that in two instances a termination notice may be effective, but the termination date will be modified by statute. First, where proper notice is given more than 30 days before March 1 but the land has already been planted to a fall-seed crop, the notice will be construed as fixing the termination as to that ground on the day after the fall-seeded crop is harvested or August 1st, whichever comes first.
Second, during a year in which a fall-seeded crop has been or will be harvested on the leased land and written notice is given after 30 days before March 1 but before the new fall-planted crop is sowed, a slightly different rule applies. Specifically, if the crop ground has already been prepared for fall sowing in conformance with normal practices in the area, the notice of termination will be construed as fixing termination as to that ground in the following year, either on the day after the yet-to-be sowed fall-seeded crop is harvested or August 1st, whichever comes first.
Delivering Terminations Notice
When the day of termination of the tenancy is started in a written contract, a notice to vacate the premises is not necessary. When a notice of termination is necessary, the termination notice may be served:
- on the tenant;
- if the tenant cannot be found by leaving a copy at the tenant's usual place of residence;
- by delivering a copy to a person over 12 years of age residing on the lease premises;
- if no person is found upon the premises, by posting a copy of the notice of the termination in a conspicuous place;
- by sending the notice by registered mail addressed to the tenant at the tenant's usual place of residence.
The best way to serve notice of termination is probably by registered mail because the tenant must sign a receipt for the notice. If notice is given by mail, it must be done by registered or certified mail, and it is important that the landowner keep the return receipt for proof of notice of termination.