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Land Lease Agreement

Land Lease Agreement Template

Leverage our Land Lease Agreement to authorize a tenant to enhance or develop land under your ownership.

A Land Lease Agreement serves as a crucial legal document that facilitates the renting of land from one party to another. Whether for agricultural, commercial, or residential purposes, this agreement outlines the terms, conditions, and responsibilities of both the landowner (lessor) and the tenant (lessee). In this blog post, we'll delve into the essentials of a Land Lease Agreement, what it should include, scenarios necessitating its use, and the benefits it offers to both parties involved.

Table of Contents

Defining a Land Lease Agreement

A Land Lease Agreement, also known as a Ground Lease or Ground Lease Agreement, is a legally binding contract that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of land. This agreement establishes a relationship between the landowner (lessor) and the tenant (lessee) and grants the lessee the right to use and occupy the land for specific purposes. The purposes can vary widely, encompassing agricultural activities, commercial developments, or residential construction. This contractual arrangement is crucial for providing a clear framework for both parties, ensuring that the land is utilized in accordance with the agreed-upon terms.

What to Include in a Land Lease Agreement?

Creating a comprehensive Land Lease Agreement involves addressing various critical aspects to avoid potential conflicts.

  • Identification of Parties: Clearly specify the names and roles of the involved parties, distinguishing between the landowner lessor and the tenant or lessee.
  • Rent and Payment Details: Define the amount of rent, the frequency of payments, and factors influencing rent variations, such as lease duration, land acreage, and the intended use of the land.
  • Property Description: Provide a precise legal description of the vacant land or property, utilizing recognized methods like metes-and-bounds, photographs, diagrams, or detailed written explanations.
  • Lease Duration: Clearly state the duration of the lease, specifying whether it's for a fixed number of years or contingent on certain conditions or events.
  • Permitted Land Use: Enumerate the allowed uses of the land, whether it be for agriculture, commercial purposes, or residential development.
  • Access and Amendment: Define whether the landlord retains the right to access the land for specific reasons and outline procedures for making future changes to the agreement.
  • Dispute Resolution: Specify the mechanism for resolving disputes, whether through mediation, arbitration, or court litigation.
  • Facilities Usage: If there are pre-existing structures or amenities on the property, clarify whether the tenant has the right to use them.
  • Utilities: Determine who is responsible for providing essential utilities such as electricity, water, sewage, and roads.
  • Security Deposit: Detail any additional monetary requirements, such as a security deposit to cover potential damages to the property during the lease.
  • Termination Conditions: Clearly outline the conditions under which either party can terminate the agreement, including breaches such as non-payment of rent or failure to maintain the land.

Land Lease Agreement Example

The example land lease agreement below details an agreement between the landlord, ‘Gary E Chapell’ and the tenant, ‘Marjorie H Calhoun.’

Gary E Chapell agrees to lease the site to Marjorie H Calhoun to operate and manage a multi-family residential apartment complex.

Sample Land Lease Agreement

When Do I Need a Land Lease?

Understanding when to implement a Land Lease Agreement is crucial in various scenarios:

  • Passive Income: Individuals with vacant land, whether in urban or rural settings, can benefit from generating passive income without the need for extensive personal investment.
  • Tenant Farming: In rural areas, where individuals may lack the capital to purchase land, tenant farming allows for agricultural activities without ownership.
  • Hunting Leases: Landowners with large properties in rural areas can profit from leasing their land for hunting during specific seasons, managing wildlife to prevent damage to crops and livestock.
  • Corporate Expansion: Urban businesses can strategically utilize land leases to access prime locations without the substantial upfront costs of purchasing the land outright. This allows for the improvement of the land for income generation.

Why Use a Land Lease?

Implementing a Land Lease Agreement offers several benefits:

  • Documentation: The agreement serves as a written record, preventing misunderstandings and ensuring that the land arrangement is perceived as a landlord-tenant relationship rather than a joint business venture.
  • Debt Protection: By including a "No Partnership" clause, landlords can protect themselves from potential claims by creditors seeking repayment from the tenant.
  • Dispute Prevention: A written agreement helps prevent disputes over land ownership, particularly in cases of adverse possession where a trespasser may attempt to claim ownership.

Subordinated vs. Unsubordinated Land Leases:

Understanding the nuances between subordinated and unsubordinated land leases is essential:

  • Subordinated Leases: In these agreements, the landlord agrees to a lower hierarchy in land ownership, essentially pledging their interest in the land as collateral for any loans taken by the tenant. This arrangement may result in higher rent payments.
  • Unsubordinated Leases: Here, the landlord refuses to take a lower hierarchy and prohibits the tenant from using the title to the land as collateral. In case of default by the tenant, the landlord retains ownership, often with lower rent payments.

Consequences of Not Using a Ground Lease:

Failing to formalize a Land Lease Agreement can lead to various uncertainties and potential disputes. A written agreement helps preemptively address issues such as:

  • Tax Obligations: Specify who is responsible for real estate taxes to avoid disagreements.
  • Damage Responsibility: Clearly outline which party is accountable if animals cause damage to neighboring property.
  • Permits: Establish who is tasked with obtaining necessary permits for agritourism or recreational land use.
  • Mineral Rights: Define ownership and access rights to minerals or natural resources beneath the land's surface.
  • Late Fees: Include provisions for late fees or penalties in case of delayed rent payments.
  • Structural Ownership: Clarify whether the landlord can retain any structures built on the land after the lease concludes.
  • Subleasing: Determine whether the tenant has the right to sublease the land to another party.

By addressing these aspects, a Land Lease Agreement not only protects the rights of both parties but also provides a clear roadmap for the responsible and effective use of the land.

How to Write a Land Lease Agreement?

Follow the steps below to write your land lease agreement.

Step 1 – Fill in Landlord and Tenant Information

1. Landlord Name. Provide the landlord’s full name or company name, depending on whether the landlord is an individual or an entity.

2. Tenant Name. Provide the tenant’s full name or company name, depending on whether the tenant is an individual or an entity. If there is more than one tenant, enter the name of each additional tenant.

land lease agreement landlord tenant

Step 2 – Enter Agreement to Lease Details

3. Legal Description. Provide a legal description of the land being leased, which will be referred to as the “Site” for the rest of the agreement. A legal description is a unique description that identifies the land.

land lease agreement description

Step 3 – Write Purpose

4. Use of Site. Provide the purpose and the intended use of the Site.

land lease agreement purpose

Step 4 – Describe the Term

5. Start and End Dates. Provide the start date and the end date for the lease term. The term is the length of time the tenant will rent the Site.

land lease agreement term

Step 5 – State Rent Amount

6. Rent Payment. Specify the dollar amount of each rent payment and how often the rent will be paid (i.e., on the effective date, monthly, or annually).

7. Monthly Installments. If monthly installments, specify the day of the month the rent is due (e.g., the 1st of the month). Select whether the landlord will assess a fee for late rent. If yes, specify the day of the month the rent will be considered delinquent and if there is a grace period. Specify if the late fee will be calculated as a percentage or a fixed dollar amount.

8. Annual Installments. If annual installments, specify the day and the month the rent is due (e.g., 1st day of January). Select whether the landlord will assess a fee for late rent. If yes, specify the day and the month the rent will be considered late and if there is a grace period. Specify if the late fee will be calculated as a percentage or a set dollar amount.


9. Pro Rata Rent. If the rent is to be paid in annual installments, select whether the rent for any portion less than one year will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

land lease agreement prorated rent

Step 6 – Check Security Deposit Option

10. Security Deposit Amount. Specify whether the tenant is required to pay a security deposit. If yes, provide the total dollar amount of the security deposit to be paid by the tenant to the landlord.

11. Security Deposit Return. Provide the number of days after the end of this agreement that the landlord will return the security deposit (less any amounts under this section) to the tenant.

12. Interest Bearing Security Deposit. Specify whether the security deposit will be held in an interest-bearing account.

land lease agreement security deposit

Step 7 – Select the Taxes Option

13. Tax Payments. Provide whether the landlord or the tenant is responsible for paying taxes and assessments.

land lease agreement taxes

Step 8 – Mark Utility Option

14. Utility Services. Provide whether the landlord or the tenant is responsible for payment of utility services such as electricity and gas.

land lease agreement utilities

Step 9 – Fill In Conditions Precedent Information

15. County of Registry. Provide the county where this agreement will be registered with the relevant Land Registry Office. Also, provide the applicable state whose laws will govern this agreement.

land lease agreement conditions precedent

Step 10 – Fill in Holdover Tenancy Rate

16. Holdover Tenancy. If there is a holdover (tenant stays on the Site past the end of the lease term), specify the percentage of the rent per month the tenant must pay during the holdover period.

land lease agreement holdover tenancy

Step 11 – Check Improvements and Alternations Option

17. Improvements. Provide whether the tenant can make improvements or changes to the Site without the landlord’s approval.

18. Signs. Specify whether the tenant is permitted to erect signs on the Site related to its business.


Step 12 – Note Leasehold Mortgage Option

19. Leasehold Mortgage. Provide whether the tenant can mortgage its leasehold interest as security for a loan.

20. Subordinated Lease. Provide whether the landlord agrees to permit a mortgage on its interest in the Site to secure a loan payment to the tenant.

land lease agreement leasehold

Step 13 – Enter Insurance Information

21. Insurance. In addition to property insurance, specify whether the tenant is responsible for maintaining general liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, automobile liability insurance, or any other insurance. If yes, also provide the minimum coverage that must be maintained.

land lease agreement insurance

Step 14 – Write Default Details

22. Other Information. Provide for any other events of default by the tenant not already included.

land lease agreement default

Step 15 – Fill in Termination by Landlord Days

23. Number of Days. Specify the number of days after receipt of the landlord’s notice of default that the landlord has to terminate this agreement.

land lease agreement termination by landlord

Step 16 – Note Termination by Tenant Days

24. Number of Days. Specify the number of days after receipt of the tenant’s notice of breach that the tenant has to terminate this agreement.

land lease agreement termination by tenant

Step 17 – Write Surrender of the Site Information

25. Number of Days. Specify the number of days after the end of this agreement the tenant has to remove all equipment, materials, and other property from the Site.

26. Number of Days. Specify the number of days after the end of this agreement that any property left on the Site can be considered abandoned by the tenant and retained by the landlord.

land lease agreement surrender of site

Step 18 – Fill in Governing Law State

27. State. Choose the state’s laws that will govern this Land Lease Agreement.

land lease agreement governing law

Step 19 – Write Dispute Details

28. Dispute Resolution. If there is a dispute, specify whether the dispute will be resolved through court litigation, binding arbitration, mediation, or mediation then arbitration.


Step 20 – Note Miscellaneous Information

29. Other Provisions. Provide for any other provisions not already included in this agreement.

land lease agreement miscellaneous

In conclusion, crafting a Land Lease Agreement involves careful consideration of the unique aspects of the arrangement. Whether for generating passive income, facilitating agricultural activities, or supporting corporate expansion, a well-documented and legally sound agreement is crucial for fostering a positive and transparent landlord-tenant relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common names for a Land Lease Agreement?

A Land Lease Agreement may be referred to by various names based on its specific use, such as Land Agreement, Ground Lease, Ground Lease Agreement, Billboard Land Lease Agreement, Cash Farm Lease Agreement, or Hunting Lease Contract. The names can vary depending on the intended use of the land.

How can a Land Lease Agreement be terminated?

Termination conditions are typically outlined in the agreement and can include breaches such as non-payment of rent, failure to maintain the land, or other specified conditions. The agreement should clearly specify the process and conditions for termination.

How do I write a land lease agreement?

Writing a land lease agreement involves several important steps to ensure that both parties' interests are protected. Here's a general outline to help you draft a comprehensive land lease agreement:

  1. Title and Introduction: Begin with a clear title that identifies the document as a "Land Lease Agreement." Include the date of the agreement and the names and addresses of the parties involved (the landlord and the tenant).
  2. Description of the Property: Provide a detailed description of the land being leased, including its location, boundaries, and any relevant landmarks or identifying features.
  3. Term of Lease: Specify the duration of the lease, including the start date and the end date. You may also include provisions for renewal or termination.
  4. Rent and Payment Terms: Clearly outline the amount of rent to be paid, the frequency of payments (monthly, annually, etc.), and the acceptable methods of payment (e.g., check, bank transfer).
  5. Use of the Land: Define how the tenant is permitted to use the leased land. Include any restrictions or limitations on activities, such as farming, construction, or commercial use.
  6. Maintenance and Repairs: Determine which party is responsible for maintaining the land and making necessary repairs. Clarify the process for addressing maintenance issues and the allocation of costs.
  7. Improvements and Alterations: Specify whether the tenant is allowed to make improvements or alterations to the land and under what conditions. Outline procedures for obtaining approval for any changes.
  8. Insurance and Liability: Determine the insurance requirements for both parties, including liability insurance and property insurance. Clarify each party's responsibility in the event of damage or loss.
  9. Taxes and Utilities: Define which party is responsible for paying property taxes, utilities, and other associated costs.
  10. Access and Entry: Outline the landlord's right to access the property for inspections, repairs, or other purposes, and specify any advance notice requirements.
  11. Assignment and Subletting: Address whether the tenant is allowed to assign the lease or sublet the property to another party, and under what conditions.
  12. Termination and Default: Define the circumstances under which the lease can be terminated, including breach of contract, non-payment of rent, or other violations. Outline the procedures for giving notice and resolving disputes.
  13. Governing Law: Specify the jurisdiction whose laws will govern the agreement and any disputes arising from it.
  14. Signatures: Include signature lines for both parties, as well as the date of signing.

Land Lease Agreement Sample

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