Thoughts on trying to get a free lease from my neighbor for garden space?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Farmer Mike S, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. Farmer Mike S

    Farmer Mike S Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2012
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    I'm in college, so I still live on my parents property. I have two gardens at home, a three bed raised bed garden, and a 50'x50' roughly plant garden. Even though I live on over two acres, my parents like the lawn and the property has a lot of shade anyway. My raised bed garden I plant vegetables and don't have much space, and my other garden is mostly trees and shrubs and I'm limited on room there as well. I'm looking for a space to plant stuff that takes up a lot of room like melons and pumpkins, and I also would like to install an electric fence because I'm in a deer heavy area.

    My one neighbor next to me has ten acres, mostly wooded, but there's an acre next to my house which has only been let go a few years. My neighbor is going through a will dispute with his brother that's been going on for seven years, so even though he lives on the property, he doesn't maintain the property. The acre next to me is a bit overgrown with shrubs and grass, but it's defintiely manageable. It's also within fifty feet from my house, so I can easily run a hose and an extension cord over there.

    I was thinking of asking if I can clear out maybe a 30'x30' space, and asking if I can put up a temporary fence as well. In return, I would offer some property upkeep if he wants it. The space needs some work for clearing, and a lot for weed control, but it's in a sunny spot and close to my house. There are also people that hunt on the property, but I don't see how the garden would really interfere. Does anyone think this is a good idea? I don't know how people typically are with free leases, and maybe the will dispute would make it a challenge
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    It sounds like a win/win situation to me. The area would be maintained, and kept from falling into further decline. You'd get some veggies. My suggestion to you: offer some of your produce in exchange for use of the area. The biggest issue I see would be the fence. But, if it's a temporary fence that would be easily removed, that would be manageable. If this neighbor is in possession of the property, he should be able to make lease decisions. Of course, he may want a clause written in that would state that if legal precedence warrants it, you'd have to give up your garden before the season ends.
     
  3. Farmer Mike S

    Farmer Mike S Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The fence wouldn't be too much of an issue in that aspect in my opinion, because I'm using metal t posts and running an extension cord to the charger. The whole thing can be taken down in about an hour. My only concern is an electric fence being some kind of liability, but then again he allows hunters which are as well. I wasn't planning on a written agreement, but that would be good for both of us and is probably easy as well.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Always, Always, ALWAYS get it in writing. When we were clearing some of our land last August (cleared up to the lot line, at the adjoining neighbor's back corner), there was one tree on their land that was a future safety issue for our buildings. So, we walked down, introduced ourselves, told them what we were doing, and asked permission to take down the one tree. They walked back with us, looked at the tree in question, and gave us written permission to take down that tree, and any other problem trees. Well, the guy that we contracted with to cut the trees suggested that that tree was not much of a problem, but did take down a big double trunk maple on their line. Before we knew it, they were down taking pictures of the work in progress. Nothing ever came of it, but you never know when a verbal agreement will come back to bite you in the heiney.
     
  5. Farmer Mike S

    Farmer Mike S Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does a lawyer need to be involved, or can I just type something myself? Considering that I'm using my own utilities and such, I feel all I need is the boundaries being used, the length of the lease, and compensation in return. I'm probably going to send an email today just asking if he would be potentially interested.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    When hubby and I worked with our neighbor, we discussed the issue, had them write out a statement giving permission, and sign and date it. If you discuss all issues pertaining to the use of the property, the amount of area to be used, length of time it will be used, benefits to be given to property owner, And limitation of your use of the property dependent on settling of the estate claim, that should suffice. Consult a lawyer if you feel that it would be beneficial.
     
  7. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    I'm not sure about how things usually work on that side of the pond, but around here you could pretty easily find a contract template for renting property. The rent could be in the form of a nominal fee, like a buck a year, or work in exchange for use of the land. I suggest writing down what you intend to do there, and to agree to some sort of schedule in which you have to be able to dismantle your garden if necessary. And if it seems like you could be kicked out at any time, you could set up the garden as a container garden, growing your crops in sacks and tubs. Ten gallons of soil dumped in a black garbage bag with some holes poked in the bottom makes for a great bean growing setup, and you can easily slide it up on a tarp and pull it into your own property if needed. I think a lot of other crops can be grown in a similar way, but beans are the only one's I've tried so far. I know a lot of people grow salads, herbs, potatoes and strawberries in a similar way. I don't see why it wouldn't work for pumpkins and melons too.
     

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