Trying to Determine a Fair Land Rental Price

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by countrygoddess, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi all. I have my movable chicken coop on some of my neighbor's unused land with his permission. This field is adjacent to our property. Ever since we moved into our house 15 years ago I've wanted that lot to turn into a barnyard, and when I finally asked him if he would sell it, he said no. I think he's saving it to give to his kids when they're grown. He also intends to run a maple sap pipeline underground along the line between the field and our property (we have given him permission to tap as many sugar maples in our woods as he wants and he gives us a gallon of syrup each spring).

    So then I asked if I could lease it and he said, "Do I look like I need the money??" Very strange response, if you ask me, but he'd been into the beers by then, so he probably wasn't thinking straight. Normally he's a pretty nice and decent guy. Anyway... I'm going to approach him again about leasing or renting a quarter of the field, which would be a little less than an acre in my estimation, because I need to put more chicken houses out there and I'd like to put in a garden if possible.

    I'm wondering, from those of you who rent your farm land (particularly those in New England/Vermont), how much I should expect to pay in rent per month? This land is on a slight slope, probably wouldn't perc well because it's incredibly soggy/muddy when it rains (if I built a little barn, it would have to be on stilts), and isn't growing much more than clumps of grass, volunteer Sumac and Ash trees, and wild raspberry brambles. He used to have milk cows on it, but he sold his herd right after we moved in (I was sad). He's got a few other pastures that he mows for hay, but he doesn't do anything with this one, which tells me that he feels it isn't good for much.

    Also, what is usually put in a rental agreement for a field like this? I mentioned building a little barn, but I understand that it would have to be temporary and come down when I'm finished using this property. I use PoultryNet fencing, which is movable and temporary.
     
  2. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    It is not clear the size of the land that you want to rent and what you want to do with the land. You mentioned that you have a "movable coop" on your neighbors land with permission but it is unclear if that is the land that you want to lease. Anyway.... Farmland here in the midwest leases for around $200/acre and up to grow crops. I suppose that you ask to rent a 1/2 acre area for $100/year if you are looking for a place to put a chicken tractor. Do you have space in your yard/land? I assume that this is grassy pasture and you may need to cut it with a bushhog a few times a year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  3. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I want to use the same space I'm using now, but I need to make another hoop coop and in the springtimes I'd put breeding pens out there, too (my pens come apart for storage when I no longer need them after breeding time). I only want to use this land to have my hoop coops on and to maybe plant a few more vegetables than I can fit in my own raised beds. Maybe a 10x10 corn patch or something. For my family's use, not to sell. He gave me permission to have the one hoop coop out there, but if I start putting other structures out there, he'll probably balk. That's why I want to pay him. The entire field is probably 3-ish acres and I'd like to use 1/4 of it, so about 8-8.5/10ths of an acre.

    We don't have space on our property. If we did, I'd already have put the chickens there and wouldn't need the field space. We have only a small amount of yard and the rest is boggy woods. Somewhere down the road, we're going to have a LOT of fill brought in to bring the level of some of the bog up (with a retaining wall to keep it in place) and make a back yard, and then we may have room to keep chickens on our own property. As it is now, we have our front lawn, some flower beds, two raised garden beds, some groundcover in the side yard which is essentially unusable (we live on a hill--groundcover because grass is too difficult to mow on such a steep slope), and that's it.

    So that $200/acre for crops is an annual price? Wow, I'm glad I asked what I should be paying because I probably would have waaaaaaaaaaaayyyy overpaid him. LOL I think I would still offer him more than $15/mo though. I'll also remind him that he's got all those taps on our maples. ;-)

    (edited for typos)
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  4. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Yep... $200/acre/year. You have to realize that farmers need ALOT of land to farm crops for a profit. That is 20 thousand dollars to lease just 100 acres to farm! We let a local guy cut 10 acres of our field for hay and we just ask for 30 bales for our goats. He is doing me a favor keeping it cut a few times a year.

    $100/year to lease just under an acre sounds fair and if he is gathering syrup from your trees then he should not charge you any rental. It sounds like he is not farming it so it is not being used. I suppose if it was normally farmed with crops and he did not tap your trees then you could do the $200/year.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I told my husband that I'll just start putting more stuff out there little by little and call myself a squatter. LOL

    Yes, he taps our trees (along with many others on his own property). And once I've got enough birds to overfill a freezer and enough eggs to flood the kitchen, I'll leave a styrofoam cooler of frozen chicken and a carton or eggs on their porch every now and again. The thing about putting more stuff out in the field is this: I don't want to rock any neighborhood boats. I don't want to make him mad or anything, so I thought if I just started giving him money and said, "Here, I really do owe you for letting me use your field"... But then I thought it would be best to have a contract so that it's all on the up and up. Maybe if I just start sending him checks on which I've written "for the use of the field" and then I'll have the proof of them being cashed...?

    I don't know. That's why I wanted to put this out there on BYC and see what others had to say.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013

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