The Legal Basis for the Obligations of Landowner and Tenant

Tenancy Law by Legal Issue

The information provided in this site is for general use only and not intended as legal advice.  Any information obtained from this site is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a competent professional.  The list provided below should not be viewed as comprehensive in relation to possible legal topics to consider in a farm lease arrangement.

The Legal Basis for the Obligations of Landowner and Tenant

The landlord-tenant relationship is principally governed by the lease agreement. This provides the parties with a significant amount of control over the various aspects of the relationship and the duties owed by each party. The lease agreement is a type of contract, and as such, the parties are free to agree to any terms they wish, provided those terms are legal.

However, the landlord-tenant relationship is also governed by state law. Statutes and case law address many aspects of the farm tenancy relationship. Generally, the law is used to govern the relationship where the lease agreement is silent, although, there are circumstances where the law does supersede terms agreed upon within the lease.

Thus, both the terms of the lease agreement as well as statutes and common law govern the duties of both landlord and tenant. Many of the terms and laws will have an impact, either direct or indirect, on the adoption of sustainable practices on the leased premises. It is, therefore, important to understand the influence of the terms and laws on the behavior of both parties.

Additional Resources:

For a more general discussion of farm lease laws in Iowa, the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University provides “Iowa Farm Leases – Legal, Economic, and Tax Considerations.”

Legal Categories:

To learn more about various tenancy laws and the impact of these laws on the lease arrangement, and more particularly on the sustainability of leased land, click on the topics below.  The pages that follow provide an overview of the legal subject and its impact on sustainability. Many of the topics are then examined on a state by state basis. Important terms and concepts are linked to the site’s glossary.