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Old 09-02-2011, 01:15 AM   #1
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Renting a spot to a fulltimer

I have 3 acres in the country, and a fulltimer has approached me and asked if they can put their trailer on the property to live in until spring. They have a composting toilet so they would not need septic hookup, and a clean looking rig. They are college students, and swear they do not have wild parties. More the artsy type, into organic farming, recycling, and low-impact green-lifestyle.

If I were to do this, what sort of liabilities would I need to look into to protect myself legally? Has anyone here had experience with this kind of thing?
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:22 AM   #2
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Watch what they grow on your land
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:27 AM   #3
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Renting a spot to a fulltimer

Greetings Stephanie!


You would need to take the same steps as any other landlord. Some of the things to consider would include: (please note this is not an all-inclusive list)
  • Umbrella liability insurance policy to protect you from any lawsuits that a tennant or his/her guests might bring against you.
  • Insure that you are not in violation of any county zoning regulations regarding the proposed use by the tennant.
  • You may need to consult your tax accountant if you utilize the property in any form of business where you have any type of depreciation schedules or records of that type as changing use can have an impact on the tax computations for the tax years that the lot is rented.
  • A written rental agreement or lease (between you and the tennant) that specifies any limitations as to activities that your tennant may enter into while renting/leasing your property.
There typically isn't a huge problem in a rural area renting out a space as you describe, however, this can vary tremendously by individual counties.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:14 AM   #4
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It's cost versus benefits. Under costs comes liability, hard costs like water and electric, loss of privacy, additional traffic, possible zoning infraction . . . if it doesn't work, it's hard to change, requires a law suit here. Benefits . . . . I don't come up with any.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:42 AM   #5
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Watch what they grow on your land
Yeah, I thought of that too...

Thanks guys, I'll keep looking into it and see what zoning rules we have out here and all that. Just the sort of info I needed.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:17 AM   #6
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I'm with Kevin. I'd draw up a tenancy agreement (your State may have one that is required to be used) and treat it as you would with any rental agreement.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:29 PM   #7
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Kevin is Correct...

Read his post, print it, and put it on the fridge.
Sometimes when we try to be good sports, we find ourselves being taken advantage of.
We know what's in it for them. What's in it for you?
It is very difficult to evict people once you have allowed them to squat on your land. That's right, they really are squatters. If they weren't they wouldn't be trying to impose themselves into your space.
And it is your space, not theirs.
Again, will sharing your space improve your quality of life?

DANGER WILL ROBINSON!
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:45 PM   #8
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What's in it for you?
A little extra money every month that is much needed.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:09 PM   #9
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Read his post, print it, and put it on the fridge.
Sometimes when we try to be good sports, we find ourselves being taken advantage of.
We know what's in it for them. What's in it for you?
It is very difficult to evict people once you have allowed them to squat on your land. That's right, they really are squatters. If they weren't they wouldn't be trying to impose themselves into your space.
And it is your space, not theirs.
Again, will sharing your space improve your quality of life?

DANGER WILL ROBINSON!
Renters are unequivocally NOT squatters. A squatter is "a person who settles on land or occupies property without title, right, or payment of rent." Provided there is an enforceable lease and payment of rent, these people would be "tenants" which is not the same thing.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:13 PM   #10
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Read the opening post. They asked her if they could "put" their travel trailer on her land for about a year.
Been there, done that, got burned, even though I had a rental agreement.
Took months and intervention by law enforcement to rid myself of my unwanted "guests."
And I guess they were guests since they never paid me a dime.
Thanks for the lecture.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:38 PM   #11
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Sorry for any confusion. Yes, this would be a rental situation.

It's good to know there can be problems involved. Thanks for relating your experience, Ken.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
More the artsy type, into organic farming, recycling, and low-impact green-lifestyle.

If I were to do this, what sort of liabilities would I need to look into to protect myself legally? Has anyone here had experience with this kind of thing?
The liability could be huge if what thet're growing starts off lookin' like healthy tomato plants. One plane flying over with DEA or Sheriff painted on the side and you could be forfieting that 3 acres and much more to our country's debt relief program. Just keep a watchful eye on things, they're prob. good kids.
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:10 PM   #13
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Yes, they could just be good kids looking for a cheaper way to live during college. One thing that may help is if you could ask them for references. Have they done this before? Maybe not, but still, personal references may be good.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klevan View Post
Read the opening post. They asked her if they could "put" their travel trailer on her land for about a year.
Been there, done that, got burned, even though I had a rental agreement.
Took months and intervention by law enforcement to rid myself of my unwanted "guests."
And I guess they were guests since they never paid me a dime.
Thanks for the lecture.
You are right that the original post didn't specify "rent" the land; I got the rent impression from later responses to the post. As luck would have it, my assumption was closer to the actual situation than your assumption, but there was a reason I included the phrase "enforceable lease" in what I wrote, that's an absolute necessity. Depending on local tenancy laws AND on the terms of the lease, it can take time to evict bad tenants.

To the others concerned about what might be grown on the land, that's why a general prohibition against "illegal activities" is usually present in all leases, and having a proper lease would also give you legal grounds to fight confiscation of your property if the tenants were farming weed without your knowledge. If you DID find that was going on, you'd probably be legally expected to report it immediately to preserve your claim that it was being grown without your knowledge.
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