Negotiating land use terms in Ontario
February 22, 2015 5:12 PM   Subscribe

I live in Ontario. A local farm agreed to let me fence off various sections of their 90+ acre farm to house some tamed, educational wildlife for my nonprofit. I want to build the enclosures this spring, but neither party has any idea how to negotiate the terms of land use and financial compensation. I am looking to rent or lease x acres for a minimum of one or two years.

Should I consult a lawyer about terms of land use and agreeing on a payment amount? If so, what kind of lawyer am I looking for?

Some facts that may or may not be relevant: It is legal to keep wildlife for educational purposes in that jurisdiction, so no worries there. I do not intend to build any structures (like a shed or a building) on the farmland. The only money I expect to make on their property is a nominal sum from monthly group presentations wherein the public is invited onto the property to see the animals and listen to a lecture. Mostly, my nonprofit's funding will come from donations and grants. I haven't set a budget yet for the nonprofit. This will be our first real year in operation. We might not even acquire the animals in 2015. All I know for certain is that I plan to fence off some of the farmers' land so that when the opportunity to take in the animals arises, I will be ready.
posted by quiet earth to Grab Bag (2 answers total)
You will be wanting to get in touch with a real estate attorney. They will help you both figure out the details and how exactly to draw up the different contracts. A decent amount of real estate attorneys also do nonprofit law which might be useful since it sounds like you are a new nonprofit.
posted by Deflagro at 6:03 PM on February 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Leasing farmland is very common and you should be able to find plenty of resources. If the amounts in question aren't very large, I'd suggest one of the forms available online for Ontario would be a fine starting point.

Fencing ain't cheap, so make sure you sign a lease that gives you long enough to make the investment worthwhile.

Ask around to see what's common practice for farmland in your area. If land values aren't too high, lawyers are likely not involved that much for a few acres.
posted by ssg at 2:47 AM on February 23, 2015

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