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Renting to a hunting club --liability issues?
Old 04-30-2016, 01:45 PM   #1
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Renting to a hunting club --liability issues?

Dh and siblings inherited property from Fil that had an old house and land that was rented to a hunting club. There is no written lease/agreement. They pay very minimal rent. The club maintains the home (all work electrical plumbing & anything else needed). The members keep about a dozen RVs on the property year round.

There has never been an incident that we know of, but I am concern wether we could be held liable if there was ever is an incident. House only has fire protection and is not worth much. I tried to add umbrella insurance to that home but they wanted me to put it under our current homes policy. I am concern about our assets being at risk. Hunting is not done at the house as it is on less than 2 acres. But a bunch of folks stay there during hunting season.

I guess I am asking if land owners can be held liable even though it is rented out? No lease in place? Is it worth seeing a lawyer to have something drawn up? I have an umbrella policy for our home and auto but this land is not on it. Not sure if I am over reacting but it worries me. Thank you in advance.


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Old 04-30-2016, 02:12 PM   #2
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It sounds to me you are just a landlord. The fact a hunting club rents it is no different than a family.

You should have some sort of landlord policy. An umbrella insurance policy for yourself is a great option, regardless of the property, assuming you have any assets.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:13 AM   #3
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If this rent is really minimal, perhaps it would be better to sell it and invest the proceeds.
After all, out of the rent you have to pay property tax, and you can be sure the current renters are jury-rigging whatever maintenance they have to do. Meaning any upkeep they do is probably the cheapest quick fix possible, so basically the house is going down in value.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:46 AM   #4
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If you are going to allow the hunting club to keep using the house and land, I would run (not walk) to see my lawyer. Especially since there are no existing written/legal agreements in place.
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:59 AM   #5
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All of the hunting leases around here require the club to provide a liability policy at the minimum.
That said does the club have any openings??
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:08 AM   #6
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If you are going to allow the hunting club to keep using the house and land, I would run (not walk) to see my lawyer. Especially since there are no existing written/legal agreements in place.
You are right, he needs a lease. No need for a lawyer. There are plenty of places to get a standard lease in place for a minimal cost.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:50 AM   #7
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Time to negotiate a lease with an indemnification clause and where the lessees are required to carry liability insurance an provide proof of insurance annually.

Even though there is no hunting done there there are lots of firearms on the property and therefore lots of risk of an accidental discharge and something bad happening. If something bad happens then the plaintiffs will be looking to any party related to the property that might have deep pockets. See a lawyer.
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Old 05-01-2016, 09:01 AM   #8
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I agree with the statement you are renting a house not leasing land to a hunting club. For the most part I would treat it like any other rental property. There may be side issues if it is rural enough--can they fire their guns on the property legally? What about all those RVs--where do they dump their waste? Electrical overload if they are all hooked into the house? None of these are that big a deal but they should be addressed in the lease. And, unless you want to be a landlord or think there is reasonable money to be made there, selling the property is probably in your best interests.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:59 PM   #9
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You are right, he needs a lease. No need for a lawyer. There are plenty of places to get a standard lease in place for a minimal cost.
I would disagree with this. If you are leasing it, your liability falls under 'invitee' rules of liabilty. If they were just guests then they would fall under the umbrella of 'licensee' liabilty. Your duty to invitees is greater than would be as licensees. If you do not understand the elements and the duty of care owed to these folks then it be would wise to spend a couple hundred bucks to talk with legal counsel.

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Old 05-01-2016, 01:09 PM   #10
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So, they are there year round, have multiple RVs, are maintaining the house, don't do any hunting, and there's no document or agreement governing the arrangement.

I can think of a few things unexpected wrong turns here, including zoning and environmental issues, and agree with Car-Guy

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If you are going to allow the hunting club to keep using the house and land, I would run (not walk) to see my lawyer. Especially since there are no existing written/legal agreements in place.
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