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Richard Terrace
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New to the board but need ideas and you seem to be the people to ask.

I own 60acres in British Columbia which I purchased 8 years ago with the goal of starting a homestead.

Unfortunately things didn't go as planned and the project never started. However the area is so beautiful I don't want to sell.

I see lots of people who want to start their own homestead with no land.

There just has to be a way to connect so we can both win. However any deal has to be fair to both parties.

So the question is.. Anyone have ideas on standard contracts between homesteaders and landowners? I'd love to share the land with people who want to work it but don't want to end up with nothing in return.

Ideas?
 
Dave Burton
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Welcome to permies Richard!

I do not know how to work out the legal issues regarding this kinda of stuff. I think reading the relevant threads to Paul's podcast 037 would be useful. One of them talks about having an independent/consensus/dictator hybrid, another on a modern fiefdom, and others about how communities can be run.

At the moment, I know the following programs connect people with land to those who wish to work on the land:
Shared Earth
Land Share Canada
Sharing Backyards

Later on, after your site is setup, you gain more experience, and you feel comfortable, I think WWOOFing is a nice way of sharing your knowledge in return for the help of fellow wwoofers.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Howdy Richard, welcome to permies! I have added your question to the woofers thread in hopes that you might get a response from some of the good permies folks who are looking for a person like you with a place like yours.
What type of arrangement are you thinking about?
 
Rachel Bedenbaugh
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Hello! My name is Rachel Bedenbaugh. Currently a group ,2 others, of driven like minded individuals are searching for the perfect piece of land to experience developing homesteading and permaculture systems. Our plan involves intensive gardening using ducks in crop rotations to fertilize as well as natural clean the soil of pests. Growing heirloom vegeTables and herbs will be a must. We can discuss your vision further by email Rachel.bedenbaugh@Gmail.com
 
Richard Terrace
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Thanks guys. I read the posts on modern day fiefdoms and co-op farming ... and a lot more as requested. Good information!

I'm leaning more towards more of a landlord / tenant contract though. I maintain ownership of the land but offer long term or lifelong leases to portions of the land. I just want to make sure I have a way to kick off someone who is grossly misusing the land. (I don't want a garbage dump and toxic waste sitting on any portion of the land).

Currently I'm thinking of maintaining ownership. Finding a 'caretaker' who would be given partial ownership in return for watching over things year round, then finding permies who want a cheap long term lease.

Any ideas would really be appreciated. Especially what would 'cheap' be for a long term lease? I saw one guy posting $150/month per acre for a 'clear your own' and make your own road non-services piece of land. That sounds pretty steep to me.

My property has road to the front, electricity to the lot, telephone to the lot and a round road going through it. I just want enough income to cover property taxes plus a bit for contingency fund ($20/acre?)

Thanks guys and gals.
 
Dillon Crew
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Don't have a solution to the ownership issue, but a couple anecdotes:

1) Drove by a few acres of nice cleared fields; good soil, easy road access, 10 mins from Duncan on Vancouver Island. Was with an experienced farmer from the area, and she commented that the owner kept trying to rent this land to new farmers, but was asking the 'outrageously high' sum of $150/acre per year, and thus having no luck. Now, I don't think there was any expectation that the renter would be living/building on this land, but I'm not sure which way that would move the price...

Are you sure that $150/acre was per month? Sounds completely insane! On a 60 acre property that would equate to $108,000 per year!!

Don't know where exactly your property is, but I do see remote acreages, often old homesteads, with a dwelling, come up for rent now and then. Usually on the islands. Cheap prices, due to the inconvenience factor of being somewhere relatively out of the way. Somewhere between $600 to $1600/month, though I can't say I recall any being as large as yours.

2) I know of two people who have built a house and otherwise improved a property that they did not own. In both cases, the exchange was pretty complicated, but in rough outline:
-Tenant got to live on the land for a long while, ~15 year range. No rent, or a work exchange of some sort beyond the homesteading/housebuilding.
-Property owner keeps house/improvements when term ends. In one case, property owner agreed, pre-construction, on an amount to pay for the house. I think in the other case no payment was made either direction.

Seems like you'd need a very good relationship between the landlord/tenant, as writing and enforcing a contract to cover all the possible issues in this sort of setup would be a real pain. As you say, you need a way to kick off a problem tenant, but the tenant needs a way to be confident you(or your heirs) won't suddenly boot them off as soon as the house is done...

Out of curiosity, where in BC is your land?
 
Richard Terrace
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Property details...

location... 20min from Terrace, BC in small community of Rosswood (pop 150 unincorporated)
at lot... electricity and telephone. Easy wellwater available.

land features... 40 acres flat but treed. 20 acres slightly sloping ending in very wet old growth
soil type.. sandy loam so not the best.
usda climate 7a so pretty good for Canada
long sunny growing season due to northern latitude
winters.. mild due to pacific ocean but short dreary days.

my thoughts on ownership for caretaker is : 1% upon starting work.
fractional based on property tax notice .. example.. land valued at 80000 currently. if improvements were valued at 80000 then it would be 50:50 ownership.

I agree a good relationship and spelling everything out in advance are really important. Thats why Im asking for contract basics and ideas
 
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