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Dancing Rabbit Land Trust lease agreement

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Dancing Rabbit Land Trust lease agreement

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Sample Standard Lease Agreement

Dancing Rabbit Land Trust, Inc.

General Terms

This is an officially binding legal document, consisting of ___ pages, between Dancing Rabbit Land Trust, Inc., (to be referred to below as “DRLT”) and the undersigned lessee or lessees (referred to below as “lessees”),
In this document, DRLT agrees to lease certain property and property interests located in Scotland County, Missouri, according to the terms set forth below. This lease and its terms as described below is made on this day, .

The present address of said lessees is ____________________ .

DRLT is a nonprofit 501(c)(2) holding company engaged in the administration of the land to be leased, under the restrictions of the DRLT Ecological Covenants, for the benefit of lessees and future generations. The lessees share the purposes and goals of DRLT and have agreed to enter into this lease not only to obtain those certain benefits to which the lessee is entitled to by this lease, but also to further the charitable purposes of DRLT.

DRLT and the lessees, for themselves and their respective heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, mutually covenant and agree to the terms of this lease. During the lease term described below, DRLT leases unto lessees and lessees accept from DRLT, upon the terms and conditions in this lease, sole possession and occupancy of the parcel of land located as shown on the site plan attached to this lease. This parcel of land is known as Warren # .

The lessees’ interest in their parcel, as regarding this lease, will be referred to as “lessees interest” and the parcel of land itself shall be referred to as the “leasehold premises” or the “leasehold”.

Lease Term

The term of this lease shall be the period of _________ year(s) beginning at noon on the day of _______ and ending at noon on the day of ____________. Unless so terminated according to provisions of this lease, it may be renewed by the lessees or their heirs at the end of this term and all subsequent terms for another such period under the terms described below. This lease shall in no way be construed to represent a purchase agreement.

Lease Renewal

Unless the lease is terminated before the end of the lease term, lessees shall have the option of a renewal of this lease, upon these terms or upon such modification of these terms as may be mutually agreed upon by both DRLT and lessees. The terms, rights and obligations of this lease, or of any renewal, shall be binding upon the named parties, or upon any successors to either. DRLT reserves the right to make changes in its leasing structure, affecting broadly leaseholders in general of DRLT, that may be incorporated into this lease agreement upon the renewal of this lease.

Lessees’ Rights and Responsibilities

If several lessees cosign this lease, they are jointly and severally responsible for honoring the terms, obligations, and restrictions described herein. The number of cosigners to this lease shall not exceed five (5).

Lessees may transfer, assign or otherwise encumber any of their rights to interests in the leasehold premises only with prior consent in writing from DRLT and in accordance with the provisions of this lease.

From the date of the beginning of the term of this lease agreement, the lessees shall assume sole responsibility and liability to any and all persons and authorities related to the possession, occupancy and use of lessees’ leasehold premises.

The lessees shall pay all service bills and utility charges against leasehold premises. Property tax on the land, assessed by Scotland County, shall be paid by DRLT. Property tax on improvements to the land, including structures and other improvements, is the responsibility of the lessees.

The lessees shall safeguard the leasehold premises against damage, waste or trespass and shall hold harmless the DRLT from any liability or loss thus incurred.

In the event DRLT shall be required to pay any sum whatsoever in behalf of the lessees’ responsibility or liability, the lessees shall reimburse DRLT for any sums thus paid, and reasonable expenses caused thereby.

Lessees shall use the leasehold premises and leasehold interest only as described and in accordance with the lease, any existing DRLT land use plan and provisions included in this lease restricting their use.

Lessees shall use the leasehold premises in a socially responsible manner, causing no real harm and creating no serious nuisances to neighbors. Lessees shall take responsibility for the use of the leasehold premises by members of their family, friends or visitors, and shall make them aware of the spirit, intent and appropriate terms of this lease.

Lessees agree to secure written consent from DRLT for any uses which are possibly inconsistent with the purposes, conditions and restrictions of this lease.

Lessees agree that residents of their leasehold who have not signed this lease must sign a Residency Agreement with DRLT, and that it is the responsibility of the leaseholder to bring such a matter to the attention of DRLT, if a resident lives on the leasehold for more than six (6) months.

The rights and responsibilities of lessees as defined in this lease apply to the leasehold only. No rights over land owned by DRLT, not part of the leasehold, are conveyed by this lease.

Lessees will allow authorized agents of DRLT to enter leasehold for the purpose of verifying compliance with the terms and restrictions of this lease.

Certain powers over the leasehold are reserved by DRLT and are not granted to lessees as part of this lease without specific consent in writing from DRLT. These powers include but are not limited to: road building, granting of easements, creation of land conservation areas, mining rights, and any other such restrictions, codes, or ordinances as may be adopted by DRLT in the future.

Certain other powers over the leasehold are reserved by DRLT, but may be assumed by lessees until such time as specific notice is given by DRLT that these powers are restricted or reserved by DRLT. Assumption of these powers by lessees in the absence of such restrictions by DRLT does not prevent DRLT from restricting or reserving these powers at any time. These powers include but are not limited to: harvesting of timber, hunting and fishing rights, wildcrafting or other collection of wild plants, use of surface water, including blockage of streams, and any other such restrictions, codes, or ordinances as may be adopted by DRLT in the future.

Termination of Lease

The lessees may terminate this lease at any time and for any reason, provided (1) that they give DRLT notice in writing not less than sixty (60) days prior to their intended termination date; and (2) that they have disposed of their personal property and improvements as stated below.

DRLT leases are designed to make land accessible, affordable, and valued commensurate with its ecological use value. Therefore DRLT intends to separate the value of land and personally owned improvements in order to remove land from the commodity market system and any unfair appreciation in dollar value resulting from that system. To this end, DRLT retains any market generated increase in land price within the community by not permitting that price to be added into the sale price of personally owned buildings and improvements at the time of lease transfer.

Upon termination of the lease, lessees are responsible for selling or removing personally owned improvements. The selling price for said improvements shall be no higher than five percent (5%) above the Fair Market Value of the improvement excluding consideration for the market value of the land. If DRLT and the lessees cannot agree on a Fair Market Value, appraisers shall be selected following procedures prescribed for selecting arbitrators (included in lease, below). The price set by the appraiser(s) shall constitute Fair Market Value. Buyer of lessees’ improvements must be a lessee of DRLT, or must remove improvements before termination of lease. DRLT retains first option to buy any or all improvements at price set by lessees, subject to the limitations above. DRLT will respond to the lessees offer to sell within thirty (30) days.

If and when the lessees make final notice of termination of this lease, the lessees will make every effort to sell their improvements and leave the leasehold without damaging or defacing the leasehold in any way. During this time, all provisions of this lease agreement shall remain in effect inclusive of payment of lease fees and all other obligations stated in this lease. Once sale and transfer of any improvements on leasehold is completed and closed according to the provisions of this lease, the lessees and DRLT may declare final termination of the lease.

DRLT may terminate this lease, at its discretion, in the event the lessees have:

  • violated any of the provisions of this lease; or
  • used the leasehold in any manner seriously detrimental to the ecological integrity of the land, the surrounding community or the inherent interests of future leaseholders; or
  • failed to pay the lease fee within thirty (30) days of notification, by registered mail or similar process, that it is overdue, or failed to request and receive a legally binding reduction or waiver of the fee from DRLT; or
  • been absent from the leasehold for at least six consecutive months, unless previously otherwise agreed with DRLT. DRLT shall make reasonable arrangements with the lessees for necessary absences, provided the lessees have a firm intention to return to the leasehold as a primary residence. Should the lessees be absent from their leasehold for a period of six consecutive months without notice or arrangements with DRLT, DRLT after reasonable effort to contact lessees may declare the leasehold abandoned, terminate the lease and take possession of the lessees property, buildings and improvements. On such occurrence, DRLT may charge the lessees reasonable storage charges or cleanup costs related to the process of restoring the leasehold to its original condition. Notice shall be given via registered mail or similar process at least thirty (30) days before such declaration is made by DRLT. Notice will be sent to the contact address that lessees have provided to DRLT; providing this address and being responsible for its accuracy is the responsibility of the lessees; or failed to comply with any ruling or judgment made through the process for arbitration of disputes or grievances hereinafter provided. However, DRLT shall not terminate the lease without first giving the lessees a thirty (30) day notice, citing the cause of termination, and granting an opportunity to correct their default. Lessees may request arbitration of any issues relating to the cause of termination at any time within the thirty (30) day period before termination occurs according to provisions herein.

If this lease is terminated for any reason, the lessee is entitled to the value of their interest in any buildings or improvements on the leasehold covered by this lease, as described below.

If DRLT terminates or does not renew this lease, the lessee must vacate the leasehold and premises within sixty (60) days, with the provisions of this lease still in effect during this time. If the lessee does not, DRLT may: (1) take any legal action necessary to remove all remaining persons and/or property from the leasehold; and (2) by public or private sale dispose of the lessees’ interests in buildings and improvements at the best price obtainable under distress circumstances.

Proceeds from the sale will be applied in this order: (1) to any amounts owed to DRLT, include storage and cleanup costs incurred in the process of returning the leasehold to its original condition; (2) to the holder of any lien against buildings and improvements; (3) to the cost of the sale; (4) to the lessee. If DRLT does not receive enough money/proceeds from the sale to cover all claims against the leasehold, the lessees will be personally and jointly liable for the difference.

DRLT will not be liable to prosecution for damage for taking any of the above actions.

Addition or Removal of Cosigner from Lease

In the case of a lease with fewer than five (5) cosigners, additional cosigners may be added to the lease at the mutual consent of lessees and DRLT, so long as the total number of signers on the lease does not exceed five (5). In the case of a lease which has more than one signer, the names of one or several cosigners may be removed from the lease at the mutual consent of all lessees and DRLT, so long as one lessee remains a signer of the lease. In such case, remaining lessees shall be responsible for all terms and conditions set out in the original lease, including any ongoing fees as described in this lease and outstanding obligations that may remain.

Transfer upon Death of Lessees

Upon the death of the last surviving lessees, DRLT shall agree to lease the leasehold (provided all conditions set forward in this lease are agreed to) to one or more of the following:

  • The spouse or domestic partner of the lessee; or
  • The child or children of the lessees; or
  • Member(s) of the lessees’ household or residential group.

In so doing, DRLT shall take into consideration the expressed wishes, if any, of the lessees of this lease, and the relative needs and abilities of their successors to make responsible use the leasehold.

Upon such death, DRLT must receive written application from one of above listed within sixty (60) days of date of death, indicating desire to continue to lease leasehold for the remaining duration of the lease term. If such application is not received, leasehold shall revert to DRLT with proper notice as described above.

Lease Fee

In return for such possession, occupancy and use of the leasehold, described as Warren , the lessees shall pay the following lease fee:
Lessees pay in advance a fee of $ ___ , equal to three month’s fee on named Warren, before the date named as the start of the term of this lease, to be refunded upon final termination of lease, and Lessees pay a monthly fee, due on the 1st of each month. This fee is set annually by DRLT. This fee is currently set at $ ___ .

In the event that the lessees overpay DRLT for the leasehold, the lessees may receive the unused balance from DRLT within thirty (30) days of the termination of this lease. In the event that DRLT terminates the lease according to the provisions of this lease, no unused portion of a lease prepayment can be returned until DRLT determines that a satisfactory settlement has been reached with the lessees.

Provisionary Clauses

Dancing Rabbit Land Trust requires that lessees conform to and abide by the following provisions:

  1. Membership: Lessees must maintain a regular membership in good standing with Dancing Rabbit, Inc., pursuant to the aims and purposes of the articles and bylaws of that organization.
  2. Noxious or offensive trade or activity: No noxious or offensive trade or activity shall be carried on or may become an annoyance to the village. Vehicles must remain on established roadways except in the performance of necessary farm, forestry, and construction work, to protect the surrounding ecosystem. Discharge of firearms must not constitute a danger to other persons.
  3. Animals: Animals are permitted to be kept on a lessee’s leasehold only with the express permission of DRLT.
  4. Subleasing and subdivision: Subleasing or subdivision of property is prohibited.
  5. Improvements; ownership, transfer, and encumbrance:
    • Lessees shall own and have title to all buildings and improvements made to or on the leasehold premises by them, at their expense or on their behalf, upon the conditions provided in this lease. Lessees shall bear full responsibility for any taxes due on buildings or improvements.
    • Lessees hereby covenant with DRLT that lessees’ house and improvements will be located and built in accordance with plans and specifications submitted in writing to and approved by DRLT, that such house and location will conform in all respects to the approved plan, and that any significant alternations of the lessees’ house or improvements shall be made only upon the prior approval of DRLT. It is understood and agreed by DRLT in connection with the foregoing provisions that DRLT’s interest and concern with the design and construction of homes and improvements is limited to the legitimate concerns of durability, safety, energy efficiency, and the wellbeing of the surrounding residents. In keeping with those legitimate interests, DRLT will not unreasonably withhold its consent to innovative design, structure or materials that do not significantly detract from the community present or planned.
    • All permanent or temporary improvements to a leasehold greater than one hundred (100) square feet in area (including by way of example but not limited to ponds, fences, roads, dwellings or other structures) must be approved by DRLT and must be finished according to schedule. Exterior of all dwellings constructed on leaseholds must be completed according to plan within three (3) years of starting date. Electrical, gas, water, and sewer lines of more than fifty (50) feet must be buried if practical and shall not be placed or connected to leaseholds until plans have been approved, as herein provided. Approval for the use of mobile homes as a residence will be for a limited term of years, and at the time of expiration the lessees must be granted a new term or remove the home from the leasehold premises.
    • Community buildings are permitted to be built on leasehold with approval of DRLT and the affected lessee. Lessees shall share equally in the maintenance of fences, roads, and any other lands or facilities leased, constructed and/or used by them in common with the lessees of any other lands owned by and/or leased by DRLT.
    • Lessees have the right to physically sever and remove any of their buildings or improvements at any time, provided they do no harm to the leasehold premises in the process and are current in any payments owed by them to DRLT. Lessees may mortgage, pledge or otherwise transfer the titles of any of their buildings or improvements for security purposes; however, for non-moveable structures, DRLT must be a party to the agreement with the lender.
  6. Advertising: Any advertisements, billboards, or signs of any kind that are erected or maintained on any parcel, or improvements thereon, may not be more than twenty (20) square feet in size. Any larger signs or other advertising structures must be approved by the DRLT.
  7. Arbitration: Should any dispute or grievance arise between the parties to the lease, concerning their respective rights and duties under the terms of the lease which cannot be resolved in normal interaction, the following arbitration procedure shall be used:
    • Either party may, by written notice to the other, appoint one arbitrator. Within ten days after such notification, the other party shall, by written notice to the former, appoint a second arbitrator (and in default of such appointment, the first arbitrator shall be the sole arbitrator). These first two arbitrators shall appoint a third arbitrator. Any and all of the arbitrators so chosen shall be persons with significant experience in land trusts, community activities, and/or the specific issue in dispute.
    • The arbitrator(s) shall meet and give each party an opportunity to present evidence and witnesses, if any, in the presence of the other. As soon as possible after the hearings(s), the arbitration panel shall make a written report of its findings and decisions (by majority vote), including a personal statement by each arbitrator of his/her vote and the reasons for it. Arbitration shall begin within thirty (30) days of the appointment of the second arbitrator, and judgment should be rendered within sixty (60) days of the start of arbitration.
    • The decisions and awards of the arbitration panel shall be binding, and judgment may be entered thereon in any court having jurisdiction.
  8. Miscellaneous provisions:
    • Rights to civil liberties, privacy and quiet enjoyment: DRLT may not interfere with the personal lives, associations, expressions or actions of the lessees, except insofar as they involve the terms and conditions of this lease, and that their rights be guaranteed from infringement on their basic civil liberties (including due process rights of notice and to a hearing on violations) which rights DRLT will not unreasonably abridge under the guise of enforcement of the terms of this lease, or by any other means.
    • Whenever this lease shall require that either party give notice to, or be advised by, the other, that notice shall be given in writing, mailed by registered mail, to the last known address of the party to be notified, and such written notice shall also be delivered in person, if possible. Notice shall be deemed given on the date on which it is mailed.
    • Whenever either party to this lease asks for the consent of the other in accordance with the provisions of this lease, that consent must be given or refused, if that is reasonably possible, within thirty (30) days, unless otherwise provided. If a well-informed judgment requires a longer period, all reasonable steps must be taken to begin that process within thirty (30) days of the request, and continue it promptly to completion.
    • DRLT may grant variances in the terms of this lease, but only after notice of such variances has been deposited with the DRLT for a thirty (30) day period, and permission for the variance must be given in writing before the variance may be deemed granted.
    • The failure of DRLT to insist, in any one or more instances, upon a strict performance of any of the covenants or conditions of this lease, or to exercise any right or option herein contained, shall not be construed as a waiver of the option to do so, but such covenants, rights and options shall continue in full force and effect. No waiver of any one covenant, right or option shall be deemed a waiver of any other.
    • The receipt of DRLT of any lease fee payment, with the knowledge of the lessees’ breach of any covenant hereof, shall not be deemed a waiver of DRLT’s remedies for such breach.
    • Both parties agree to submit any disputes concerning their respective rights and duties under the terms of this lease to arbitration (as provided in section 7 above) before any legal action is taken.
    • If any clause or provision of this lease shall be adjudged invalid, such fact shall not affect the validity of any other clause or provision, or give rise to any cause of action in favor of either party as against the other.
  9. DRLT Covenants: Lessees will adhere to the Ecological Covenants of DRLT, that may be modified from time to time by the Board of Directors of DRLT. A copy of the current Covenants is attached herein; however, lessees agree that these Covenants may be modified or amended from time to time and that latest Covenants, as kept on record in the registered office of DRLT, shall be in effect and that these Covenants may not be identical with those shown here. Each time a significant change is made in the Covenants, DRLT shall furnish lessees with a correct and conformed copy of said Covenants.

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