Farm lease agreement

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Document overview

Use this farm lease agreement template to let farmland for growing crops or rearing livestock or other animals.

It is suitable for terms between a few months and 60 years and gives strong protection to the landholder with 62 tenant's covenants.

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  • NSW
  • NT
  • QLD
  • SA
  • TAS
  • VIC
  • WA
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  • Length:22 pages (6285 words)
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About this farm lease agreement

While leasing spare agricultural land generates income for a land owner, without a formal lease agreement in place it can be difficult to ensure that the tenant (the 'lessee') uses the land and farm property as intended, and perhaps more importantly, loses the right to stay at the end of the leasing arrangement.

This farm tenancy contract provides a lease that is fair to the lessee, reflecting the hard work required to keep the land in good condition, but which protects the property and land resources of the landlord (the 'lessor').

It does so by including positive obligations and restrictions on the lessee. We provide a large number of choices to make editing easy. Of course, if some are not applicable to your arrangement you can remove them.

The duration of an agricultural lease can be short term or long term in nature. The rental period could be between six months and 60 years. We have written the opportunity for the landlord to carry out regular rent reviews.

The law in this agremeent

This lease agreement complies with current property law in each of the states for which we provide a version.

If the use of the property is for non-agricultural business use, such as tractor repair and storage or feed merchanting, we suggest that using an agricultural lease for private grazing or non-agricultural business use is more suitable.

When to use this farm land lease agremeent?

This agreement should be used if:

  • All or part of the land is farmed for trade or business throughout the term
  • The circumstances of occupation suggest that the character of the tenancy is primarily agricultural

Agricultural refers to using all or part of the property to grow plants (crops) or rear animals with a view to sale. The scale of the business is not important: the same laws apply whether the property is a commercial dairy farm with hundreds of acres of pasture, or 10 metres of poly-tunnel under which a prize garden plant is cultivated.

Farming encompasses all sorts of businesses, from those growing crops in fields (including grass, hay or silage), to those where the crops are grown in an orchard or under glass (e.g. tomatoes or mushrooms), to those where the 'crop' is an animal (e.g. lamb farming) or a product derived from animals (e.g. milk). Keeping animals (e.g. grazing horses on the land) in itself is not an agricultural business but horse breeding is. A garden centre is not an agricultural business, but plant growing is.

Change of use may be anticipated and will not necessarily disqualify the agreement, if notice has been served. The law does not make clear how far diversification may go. However, it has now become clear that peripheral or additional business operations will not prevent a tenancy from being a farm tenancy, for example, operation of a farm shop or a camp site. In any case, any diversification of use other than farming is likely to require the consent of the landlord.

Who should use this farm lease contract?

It is usually the lessor who prepares the lease agreement because their land is an expensive resource and they have the greater interests in protecting their legal rights over it. However, the tenant might also propose lease terms, perhaps as part of negotiations between the parties involved, perhaps to be able to start farming the land sooner.

Examples of the type of lessee for this farm lease contract include:

  • a wheat farmer expanding crop growing operations onto adjacent field
  • a dairy farmer renting land and outbuildings (perhaps specialist buildings such as a large milking station)
  • a specialist rare breed farmer grazing animals on the land
  • someone running a horse stud as a 'hobby'
  • an operator of renewable energy farms, such as wind farms
  • a brewer who grows apples on the rented land (an orchard) and makes the cider in an outbuilding
  • a plant grower who sells their plants from a building on the site
  • a mushroom grower using one of the outbuildings to cultivate a new variation under special conditions for commercial sale

Agreement features and contents

Although farmland leases usually follow a basic, standard form (so that both parties understand the key terms) they can vary in their coverage of matters relating to the type of property and how it should be managed.

Of course, this farm land lease covers the standard terms that you would expect such an agreement to cover, such as the term of the lease, payment of the rent, tenant's obligations and arrangements after the lease ends.

Although this is a cash-rent lease, where the rent paid is a monetary sum, it could be adapted to different types of farm leases such as a crop-rent lease or a hybrid lease.

Where it differs from many other farm lease agreements is that it provides a large menu of over 62 options to empower or restrict the tenant. The terms have been carefully considered to protect the landlord's interests while remaining fair to the other party.

The agreement has 23 sections and 3 schedules, which include:

  • Establishment of the farm lease
  • Lease term - short or long term
  • Rent amount and other payments: including further payments and interest on late payments
  • Rent review
  • Tenant's responsibilities, obligations and restrictions, such as for land stewardship and maintenance of fences, gates, walls, tanks, dams and wells
  • Entitlements
  • Assignment: tenant may not assign the lease or sublet the property without the landowners permission
  • Tenant's fixtures
  • Landowner's obligations
  • Insurance: choice for the landowner to be responsible, or for the tenant to be responsible
  • Property access for the landowner
  • Indemnity: tenant indemnifies the lessor
  • Termination: including notice period, and events at and after termination
  • Forfeiture
  • Guarantor: essential if the occupier is a company
  • Other matters, including use of mediation as a conflict resolution process
  • Schedule 1: rights reserved
  • Schedule 2: redundant buildings: not required to be maintained
  • Schedule 3: tenant's incoming fixtures
Sample farm lease agreementFront cover

Recent reviews

Great Service
22 April 2024
Simple, clear and precise agreements.
Have had quick personal responses every time I’ve needed support.
Bernie Pascoe
Review of the New Zealand version
Exactly Right
21 July 2023
Looking for the farm lease template and found one suitable in Net Lawman website, many good details to use and apply to the lease document. I am very happy and would recommend to anyone need a law documents.
Jennie Young
Clear and Easy to Use
30 September 2020
Great document, well written and easy to use and understand.
Tracey Seymour
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