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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Short

Agricultural Leases in NSW

There are a number of different types of leases in relation to specific Leasing Applications such as Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural, Residential and Retail.

If you are proposing to lease premises for the purposes of agricultural activities then some of the more important considerations you should be attending to prior to entering into such a lease as follows:

All of the principle [common] lease terms will of course be present such as the correct parties described, proper premises description, rent, term, option periods, outgoings, insurances, make good provisions etc. This article will concentrate on the specific matters concerning agricultural leasing:

  1. Access: Be mindful of public road access v private property access, be also mindful of stock disturbance and homestead disturbance, trucks v other vehicles etc;

  2. Harvest: The lease should attend to the rights of a crop and harvesting [and harvest royalties] particularly if the lease ends prior to a crop being fully harvested by the tenant that invested time, efforts, skill and costs into the harvest;

  3. Noxious Weeds & Pest Control: Is this the tenants or the landlord’s responsibility? What types of controls can be used?

  4. Biosecurity: Very important as to controlling the introduction of spread of such issues and the provision for minimisation of such problems if they arise;

  5. Spray Drift and Noise: There are increasing residential premises in and about farmland and increasing problems with drift and noise [i.e hail and bird cannons etc]. Also refer to local council and EPA guidelines;

  6. Parties might also want to refer to representative bodies such as NSW Farmers Federation or the like for information pertaining to lease and access matters;

  7. Insurance: Ensure the lease refers to specific agricultural insurance protection matter where required for the specific activity envisage/permitted;

  8. Fertilisers and other property improvements should be clear as to which party is funding the improvements;

  9. Fencing: It should be made clear as to the installation of fencing and the supply of materials and which party is incurring such costs as there are likely to be longer term benefits to the landlord for such improvements;

  10. Water rights: This needs to be clearly stated as to access and usage and that the tenant complies with all Office of Water NSW directions as required;

  11. General: WHS provisions, permits and licensing for permitted activities, standing timber [felling, clearing thereof], soil and water management practices, stocking rates [DSE], bushfire controls, fuel storage and usage, hazardous substances, ecological practices and share farming considerations may also apply where relevant.

These are some of the issues arising that are important for the parties to an agricultural lease to get right before the lease is entered into to avoid potential disputes down the track.

Do not hesitate to approach Blackwell Short on (02) 6393 9200 regarding Leasing matters.


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