Lifestyle newbie with a question re tenant's grazing responsibilities.

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4 years 4 months ago #538630 by bigjoeb
Just saying Hi to everyone out there. Meg and I are lifestyle newbies, loving it, learning heaps and working pretty hard to improve our place.

Inherited a grazing tenant with the purchase (unexpected, but that's a long story). Our tenant is a lawyer with a lease agreement with our vendors which apparently we have to live with. He grazes horses on our paddocks. What do we have a right to expect from him as to pasture management as there is nothing in the lease agreement? Should he be fertilising, managing weeds, fences? It is clear in the lease that we have to provide water and grazing, but nothing as to his responsibilities. Is there any law around this or is it an individual arrangement.

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4 years 4 months ago - 4 years 4 months ago #538631 by max2
Do you get anything out of the deal at all?

What does your Solicitor have to say about it? I don't understand how you are forced to continue on with the agreement if you do not wish to.

Things like supplying water can be tricky, it can also mean you have to supply, maintain and pay for the equipment/electricity that ''drives'' the water to the trough if you are relying on tank/spring water for your household. Why should you be paying for that if you are not being compensated in the lease? (if that is indeed the agreement).

We have an agreement elsewhere and that is we maintain the property and supply our other requirements.
Last edit: 4 years 4 months ago by max2.

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4 years 4 months ago #538632 by bigjoeb
Apparently to contest this lease would have been a feeding frenzy for lawyers, better just to let it run its course. (3years).

Water supply is no problem, we have a spring which seems very reliable.

Our real concern is that he seems to have no interest in looking after the paddock, allows weeds to flourish and has made no attempt to fertilise or care for the pasture in any way. He just brings the horses up and leaves them. He does pay for the privilege but we wondered if there was common practice or something regarding pasture care?

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4 years 4 months ago #538633 by Stikkibeek
I'd talk to a lawyer about terminating the lease. Since the lease was with the previous owner, unless you signed an agreement on purchase, then he doesn't have a leg to stand on. Get your lawyer to look at the terms of the lease, and then you could write him a fair but final termination. Once that is done, if you lease out again, you can specify your own terms.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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4 years 4 months ago #538635 by spark

bigjoeb wrote: J[SNIP]
Inherited a grazing tenant with the purchase (unexpected, but that's a long story). Our tenant is a lawyer with a lease agreement with our vendors which apparently we have to live with.[SNIP]

I am not a lawyer, so I can't give "legal advice" but I suspect that if;
  • your sale & purchase contract was for "vacant possession"
  • the sale & purchase contract makes no mention of continuation of a lease or tenancy
  • the lease is not registered on the title
then the vendor may be in breech of the sale & purchase contract for not providing you with the "vacant possession of land" that they agreed to provide. In which case, the vendor might be obliged to make good on the breech by either negotiating with and paying the tenant to terminate the lease early, or by paying you compensation for your having to continue with the lease.

Your solicitor should be able to provide real legal advice (unlike this forum).

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4 years 4 months ago #538636 by LongRidge
Getting rid of the tenant should have been one of the purchase conditions before you bought. Don't do that again :-).
If there is nothing written down, then it is not worth the paper that it is not written on, and even so having it written is seldom followed.
We have leased a lot of LSBs for more than 20 years. When we pay a rental that is based on what I hope can be run on the land, on the basis that the landowner gets half of the theoretical profit. With that payment I expect him to fertilise and control the weeds.
When we pay for fertiliser and weed control, that takes at least half the profit, if any.
Thus with the income you are getting, to my way of thinking you should be using all the income to maintain the land. But ....
Remember that you have no access to your land without his permission, nor to do work on your land without consulting him. I had 3 donkeys killed and 2 extremely sick one Christmas day from a landowner having a fire. I also had two cattle killed by another landowner cracking open a lead acid battery to get the lead from in an area that my cattle had access to :-(.

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4 years 4 months ago #538642 by Mudlerk
Don't listen to us. Ring a lawyer, be frank with her [or him] and find out where you stand.

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4 years 4 months ago #538648 by max2
Community law communitylaw.org.nz/ have been absolutely fantastic to the fellow who subbies to us, had major charges against him dropped, sorted out his Landlord who was withholding personal items etc..

I would start with them if yours was a wet paper bag handling this from the start. Or even just to get a 2nd opinion. :)

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4 years 4 months ago #538669 by LongRidge
Mudlerk, their lawyer is absolutely useless, as shown by not getting the tenant off before the purchase, so their lawyer would be an expense without a solution. Personally I would avoid a lawyer like I were trying to avoid Foot in Mouth disease. Most want further work so try hard to not solve problems :-(. Examples available if required :-(.

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4 years 4 months ago #538687 by Mudlerk
Your reply shows why I suggested they don't listen to us.

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