All over America, landlords and tenants are amending leases, reducing or eliminating several month’s worth of rentals in many cases. Though this current pandemic will not likely offer grounds to avoid leases altogether, there is much room for reasonable people to navigate reasonable solutions. Hunting leases are no exception.
The funds we spend on hunting leases are recreational funds, not food and housing. It is that extra ‘expendable’ income in many cases, though many would argue that the only reason they hold down a job is to earn enough money to hunt and fish, and buy bullets and tackle.
Whether you are a landowner keen to keep your hunting club lessees on your ground, or a hunting club trying to keep your members paying dues, now is a good time to consider hunting lease modifications to get through this time frame.
For instance, you might draft an amendment to the following effect:
Lease Amendment (example)
The parties agree that the Lease Agreement in effect between the parties dated [INSERT DATE HERE], a copy of which is attached as Exhibit A is hereby amended as follows:
- The 2020-21 annual lease payment is reduced by $___________.
- All other terms and conditions of the lease remain in full force and effect.
- Special provisions: [WRITE IN YOUR PROVISIONS HERE. CONSIDER LEASE EXTENSION, HIGHER RATE IN THE FUTURE, OR CLEANUP WORK]
Witness our signatures:
John Doe, LLC
Big Buck Hunting Club, Inc.
Leases are going to be on the minds of landowners, hunting clubs, and lessees going forward. Nobody knows what lies ahead with any degree of certainty. Now might be a good time to get ahead of this before you risk club members and tenants making a decision to walk away from a good hunting situation given the uncertainties.
A lease is a contract, normally in writing. Be sure to memorialize any agreement in writing.
A landlord offering a concession might consider getting something in return, perhaps an extension, a higher rate in the future, some cleanup work done. Don’t wait until the next payment is due to find out you have a problem.
Ya’ll wash your hands and stay socially distanced … in the woods if possible.
Article by Mike Massey, The Outdoor Lawyer