Rentals of Real Property
Four sisters are given equal shares in 18 Acres of land. Three sisters want to rent the land for grazing of cattle. One sister does not. Three sisters rent the land and receive the money. The sister that does not want to rent does not sign the rental agreement. My questions is the contract legal with out her permission and does she also have to sign the contract. Is she liabiable for the property? If she lets the three sister do this is this implied consent? Bill
Rentals of Real Property Four sisters are given equal shares in 18 Acres of land.
Rentals of Real Property
Re: Rentals of Real Property
I assume the sisters own the property as tenants in common, or perhaps as joint tenants. All of the sisters would then have right of possession of the entire property, but the possessory right cannot be used to exclude the others, because their rights are equal. They are sort of like involuntary roommates.
Further, any of them could transfer her right of possession to a tenant by a lease – and the tenant would thus have a non-exclusive right of possession so long as the lease was in effect. The bottom line is that the grazing lease is legal, proper and enforceable, but the tenant has acquired only the rights of the three sisters who signed it, and the non-signing sister still has her shared possessory right in the entire 18 acres, but she now shares it with the tenant, and not the sisters. The non-signing tenant could, for example, also graze her cattle, or ride her horse, or plant grapes on the property! Obviously, the tenant has assumed some risk that the fourth person with a right of possession will do something incompatible with the tenancy.
The three sisters who are receiving rent must share the net rent with the non-signing sister. Generally, she would be entitled to 1/4 of the rent, after expenses.
Implied consent, or consent of any kind, is not an issue here, as it is unnecessary. Note, however, that true consent might be the equivalent of signing the lease as a co-lessor, and sister #4 could thus give up her right of possession to the tenant.
Liability for an accident on the land would depend more on whose negligence was shown rather than ownership or participation in the lease; owners in possession would be more at risk than those with only slight contact with the land. There are no hard-and-fast rules. Disclosure of known hazards to the tenant and insurance are the best safeguards.
Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
P O Box 318
Tomales, CA 94971-0318