Not ready for total commitment to a property? Rent the land instead of buying it. A desire to keep maintenance costs low, problems with credit or having a long-term financial plan where renting makes better financial sense are just a few of the reasons why you might choose to rent instead of buy land. Generally, the deposit required for a rental agreement is less than the down payment required to buy property, so the upfront cost is smaller. Use basic negotiation skills and professional help to secure a fair rental agreement on the property you desire.
Visit the property you plan to rent. Inspect the land during both day and evening hours. Check to see if there are any nuisances or issues, such as strange odors, loud adjacent traffic from a highway or airport or anything that could detract from the use of the land.
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Educate yourself with up-to-date information. Read real estate news to make sure there are no major development plans for the parcel of land you wish to rent. A government project or proposed development from a large developer could impede your ability to rent the land or make the site undesirable. Also research the amount of rent paid on comparable properties.
Request a rental agreement from the owner of the land. In the absence of a written contract, many municipalities treat verbal rental agreements as month-to-month arrangements. A written lease is to your advantage should there ever be a disagreement between you and the landowner about the terms of the rental arrangement.
Negotiate terms of the lease. Some owners use generic fill-in-the-blank rental agreements. If that does not satisfy your needs, negotiate for specific terms in the rental contract. For example, if you plan to add to the property with buildings, landscaping or other improvements, you want that reflected in the rental agreement. Forge a contract that includes the appropriate rental fee, use agreements and end date of the contract.
Hire a legal expert. Ask a real estate expert or a lawyer who specializes in landlord/tenant issues to look over the contract before you sign it. An expert in the field can insert the proper language into the agreement that will ensure your best interests are represented. Ask questions about any word or action you do not understand.
Sign the lease. Bring the agreed upon deposit to the lease signing. Give the property a visual inspection. Read the contract thoroughly to ensure no changes have been made.
A rental agreement to lease land is sometimes called a land lease.
Energy suppliers such as wind farm companies and natural gas companies often enter into land lease agreements with landowners.