Hunting Land Lease Agreement

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Latest post Fri, Nov 21 2014 6:46 PM by adjuster jack. 6 replies.
  • Thu, Nov 20 2014 12:26 PM

    • ckustas
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Tue, Aug 8 2000
    • Posts 54

    Hunting Land Lease Agreement

    I have an agreement that serves as a release and waiver of liability for bow and arrow hunters to sign before payment and going on to the property to hunt. I am trying to hold on to the family property since property taxes have increased and made it difficult to make payments.

    The property has not been hunted for many years but has white-tailed deer and other animals. I am only allowing bow and arrow hunters, no firearms at all.

    There is liability insurance that I could purchase for $1000/year but the attorney said that I should be covered by the Release and Waiver of Liability agreement that he sent me. The property is posted and has a timber manangement plan. There has not been any cutting or thinning for the past two years.(Location is New York State)

    We will be interviewing the hunters and only allow as the most three or four exclusive rights. No one can bring friends or any others with him or her.

    Are we covered and have we thought of everything to prevent a big lawsuit in case somthing happens?

     

  • Thu, Nov 20 2014 1:13 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Sat, Jan 1 2005
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    Re: Hunting Land Lease Agreement

    The one thing that you need to understand is that no release and waiver of liability can "PREVENT" a lawsuit. It only would serve as a "defense" in a law suit if you were to get sued.

    If you were to get sued, you likely would have to defend. Unless you know how to do this, you probably are looking at hiring an attorney for $250+ an hour.

    Even if the attorney only does two hours of work in defending, your $1000 per year savings likely have dwindled to $500 or even less, unless you have some kind language that provides that the loser pays the winnner's attorney fees. (An even then, you still get the "joy" of collecting.) Granted you probably won't get sued every year, but you get the idea.

    I cannot tell you what you should do. But, do not proceed on the assumption that a release and waiver of liability can PREVENT a big law suit. Anyone can sue another for just about any reason, (even a bad one). It may discourage a law suit, but it really cannot prevent one.

    I may be conservative, but if I were doing what intend to do, I probably would purchase the insurance in spite of the cost.

     

  • Thu, Nov 20 2014 1:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Hunting Land Lease Agreement

    ckustas:
    Are we covered and have we thought of everything to prevent a big lawsuit in case somthing happens?

    Here's what you missed.

    Nothing "prevents" a lawsuit.

    Anybody can sue anybody for anything.

    If somebody gets injured or killed on your property it doesn't matter what kind of waivers you have, you will very likely be named in the lawsuit anyway.

    While you might eventually be absolved of any liability you would still have to pay an attorney to defend you and that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars, maybe more depending on the severity or injury or death.

    A lawsuit that takes a couple of years to resolve with a trial could cost you $100,000 in attorney fees if you don't have liability insurance.

    I suggest you buy the insurance.

    You'll sleep better knowing that you are protected against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Thu, Nov 20 2014 4:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Hunting Land Lease Agreement

    Kivi and adjuster jack are right, neither insurance nor any release of liability can truly prevent anyone from suing you, and if someone does sue you, the insurance would have the advantage that your legal defense would be handled - up to the coverage limit - by the insurance company.  Also remember that if one of your hunters shoots an innocent bystander (how many roads abut your property?) that bystander would of course not be bound by a release.

    Can your lawyer tell you what duties NY law imposes on hunting-property owners (assuming there is anything in NY law that addresses the question)?  Can he tell you whether any lawsuits have been filed against hunting-property owners in NY, and how those lawsuits turned out?

    If your hunting property is typical (in the middle of nowhere), I'd guess the odds of anyone suing you are very low.  But the question you have to ask yourself is, if there IS a big lawsuit, would you instantly regret having rented the hunting rights out and/or having declined to buy the insurance, or would you be able to take it in stride and be equanimous about your bad luck?  Knowing that previous lawsuits have been summarily quashed by the courts would go a long way towards making that easier, I'd think.

  • Fri, Nov 21 2014 8:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Hunting Land Lease Agreement

    ckustas:
    The property is posted

    I have no idea what you mean by this.

     

    ckustas:
    and has a timber manangement plan. There has not been any cutting or thinning for the past two years.

    Not sure why this might be relevant.

     

    ckustas:
    We will be interviewing the hunters and only allow as the most three or four exclusive rights.

    If you're allowing three or four people to do this, then the rights granted aren't exclusive.

     

    ckustas:
    No one can bring friends or any others with him or her.

    Of course they can.  I assume you meant to say that your agreement prohibits bringing others, but those are very different things.

     

    ckustas:

    There is liability insurance that I could purchase for $1000/year but the attorney said that I should be covered by the Release and Waiver of Liability agreement that he sent me. . . .

    [P]

    Are we covered and have we thought of everything to prevent a big lawsuit in case somthing happens?

    First of all, I'm not sure who "we" are.

    Second, as politely as I can think to say this, any attorney who tells you that you don't need liability insurance for something like this because you will be obtaining liability waivers is an absolute moron (and that's especially so where the liability insurance will cost less than $100 per month -- although you didn't say how much coverage you'd be getting, so I can't tell if that's a good price), and I would not even trust that he is competent to draft a decent liability waiver.  In a situation such as you have described, liability insurance would provide two primary benefits.  First, it will pay up to the policy limits for covered occurrences.  Second, if you get sued, it will pay for a lawyer to defend you.  While a good liability waiver might mean that you would ultimately win any lawsuit that might be filed, it might cost you $20k or $50k or more to hire a lawyer to defend you in the lawsuit.  Without appropriate insurance coverage, that money comes out of your pocket.  With appropriate coverage, the insurer pays those costs.  So...do you feel like gambling?

  • Fri, Nov 21 2014 12:41 PM In reply to

    • ckustas
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Tue, Aug 8 2000
    • Posts 54

    Insurance Coverage/ Hunting Land Lease Agreement

    Thank you for your reply. The cost of the insurance will be for the year $1248.

    The limits of the policy are $1,000,000.00 per occurrence and $2,000,000.00 aggregate.

    I think this coverage is good and the hunter(s) will also be asked if they have insurance as well.

    I will get the insurance, based on your feedback.

    Just let me know.

  • Fri, Nov 21 2014 6:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Insurance Coverage/ Hunting Land Lease Agreement

    I spent 35 years in the insurance business.

    That's a damned good price for the coverage.

    It's barely above the minimum policy premium that insurance companies would charge just to write the policy.

    Buy it.

    However, along with buying your own insurance, instead of "asking" the hunters if they have insurance, make it a condition that you get a copy of their policies before you allow them to hunt on your property.

    It's easy.

    "Mr Hunter, I'll need a copy of your current homeowners or renters policy before I let you hunt on my property. No policy, no hunting. Period."

    "Oh, but Mr Kustas, I don't have it with me. Can I hunt now and get it to you later?"

    DO NOT let that happen.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
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