Establishing a strong relationship with your landlord can help ward off future problems

BRANDON — Managing landlords is an essential part of renting land, says Saskatchewan farm accountant Lance Stockbrugger.

“It has to be a two-way street, and it has to be a relationship,” Stockbrugger told Manitoba Ag Days.

He said most farmland owners, especially retired farmers, have an emotional attachment to the land and aren’t looking for the highest rent. Often they want to feel connected to the land and the farming that’s done on it.

Stockbrugger advised renters to let these landlords help on the farm.

“Now you’ve taken all the risk away from them, they can have fun at it,” he said. “They can just go out and run the equipment.”

Landlords like to be informed about how their renters are making out, both good and bad results.

As well, renters should make sure to always pay on time, or a little early, because landlords might have included the rent payments into their own budgets. Paying late creates unnecessary stress on a landlord.

Stockbrugger said farmers should always have a written rental agreement, even though many agreements are done between local people. Surprises and disruptions can occur if a landlord becomes sick, dies or develops other problems.

“What happens if they become incapacitated, can’t make decisions, don’t remember what we talked about?” said Stockbrugger.

“It could be your youngest landlord that ends up dying for whatever reason. Make sure that you’ve got something in there that protects you.”

It’s also good to spell out what happens if somebody offers to buy the land.

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