Indiana statutes do mandate certain procedures for terminating an agricultural tenancy.  The notice requirement will, however, depend on the certain characteristics of the lease arrangement.

When Notice is Required

If the lease creates a tenancy for a term or the contract specifies a definite time for termination no notice is required.[1] This will apply to many of the initial lease agreements where the parties agree to a specific term, usually one year.  The length of the term can be for any period of time, and the rule applies to both oral and written leases.  However, it should be noted that oral leases for more than three years may not be enforceable in Indiana.[2] Further, a lease for more than three years must be recorded in Indiana.[3]

However, in a year to year tenancy the landlord must provide notice prior to three months before the end of the lease year.[4] In Indiana, if the farm tenancy is with the express or constructive consent of the landlord the lease is year to year and requires three months notice.[5] This means if the parties continue a lease after the expiration of the initial lease period without forming a new agreement for a set period of time the tenancy becomes year to year, and the landlord must, in order to terminate the tenancy, provide three months notice before the anniversary of the initial lease expiration.

Exceptions

There are a number of statutory exceptions to the notice requirement.  This includes a lease for a set term or one designating a time for termination, as discussed above.  Further exceptions include situations in which the tenant willfully commits waste, the tenant remains on the property without the consent of the landlord, the tenant fails to pay an agreed upon advance rent for the property, or the landlord-tenant relationship simply does not exist.[6]

How to Provide Termination

The form and acceptable methods of notice to terminate are also provided by statute.  Indiana Code section 32-31-1-5 provides a sample form.  The service of notice may be on the tenant, on a person residing at the premises with an explanation of the contents of the notice if the tenant cannot be found, or by posting a copy of the notice on a conspicuous part of the premises if a person residing at the premises cannot be found.


[1] Ind. Code Ann. § 32-31-1-8 (West 2010).

[2] Ind. Code Ann. § 32-21-1-1 (West 2010).

[3] Ind. Code Ann. § 32-31-2-1 (West 2010).

[4] Ind. Code Ann. § 32-31-1-3 (West 2010).

[5] Ind. Code Ann. § 32-31-1-2 (West 2010).

[6] Ind. Code Ann. § 32-31-1-8 (West 2010).