Owning and renting a rural property comes with different requirements and needs for both those occupying the property and you as the property owner.
The Agricultural Tenancies Act 1990 applies in cases of rural properties that are one hectare or more and land that is used for agricultural or farming activities. This can include the use of the land only or if the tenant is using the land for farming and living in a property on the land.
If your property can be used for agricultural or farming activities such as horticulture, crop or livestock farming, forestry, grazing or beekeeping, an agricultural tenancy can apply with a lease or a licence for the use of the land.
In some cases, as an owner, you may supply the land and any operational farming assets and the tenant would lease the farm and assets for the farming operations on terms that are agreed upon by you and the tenant. This is known and shared farming and may be a verbal or written agreement.
We always advise that agreements be in writing to provide clarity around the lease and ensure that it reduces any challenges should there be a dispute during the tenancy.
During the tenancy, there may be a need to carry out improvements to the property and the tenants can carry out some improvements without the consent of the Owner. These might include drainage, improvements to roads and bridges, control of pests and weeds in line with the Biosecurity Act 2015, subdivision fencing, laying pastures, applying fertilisers, and building repairs as well as maintenance to bores, wells, dams, tanks, and reservoirs.
If there are other improvements that require agreement with the Owner, this can be negotiated, and compensation applied to either party if required for the work that is to be carried out.
Owners can inspect the property with reasonable notice to the tenant to complete or inspect improvements and assess the property condition throughout the tenancy. They may also have other legal duties with the property and can attend with notice.
Once the tenancy is due to come to an end, there are notice periods that apply for any agreements made under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1990 and many of these notice periods must consider annual cropping seasons when finalising the notice period.
As rural and agricultural specialists, our team have the knowledge and experience to manage your rural property. If you would like to know more about the requirements for your rural property including lease agreements, terminations, or daily management, contact our team to discuss your requirements.