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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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we have rented farm ground for 25 years from this one landowner.

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we have rented farm ground for 25 years from this one landowner. We had a contract to start with of 85.00 per acre. In the last 8 years if the crops did better we paid more but last year was a drought here in Illinois so we didn't make much at all. The landlord never wanted a new lease, never gave us one, never had one signed just took what money we gave him and smiled.
August this years he called and left a voice mail, by the way find something else to do I have rented ground to someone else. No warning or anything. He didn't even make sure we had insurance to make all our bills.
He sent him a rent check matching the lease agreement from when we first started since that is the only one we have, and crops burnt up. He is now sueing us for more money, do we have to pay what we paid when crops were good?
He is also working with a lawyer who bought some of the other ground we rented and we didn't even have an agreement with him and we paid him the contract amount we had on it but he is suing for price we paid with good crops. We are so worried what do we have to do?

Thank you for your question. I'm very sorry to hear about this situation.

In this type of situation, where you are working the land you are leasing, the lease is more to protect you than it is the landlord, because you make an investment in the land. Is there a reason that you did not insist on a lease?

How often did you pay the landlord and on what dates each year you have leased the land?

When you paid the landlord, was it for up front rent, or was it for rent in the past? In other words, when you paid, were you paying for time you'd already spent on the land or for future time?

How much was the last payment and when did you make it?

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We just paid 85.00 per acre in the fall for the land we rented. One payment a year. He did not want to write another lease he said he didn't need one our other landlord always writes one up and sends it to us to sign. He said he didn't need one and was happy with what we gave him.

So when crops did good and price was good we gave him a little extra but now when crops are bad and he trew us off with no warning he wants not only what the original lease was for but the extra, and the other guy working with him we had no contract for he just bought the ground he wants what we paid the owners last year not what was on their contract. I am so upset we have nothing with eveything burning up.

I understand you being upset. It is certainly wrong and immoral for the landlord not to give you any warning and treat you like this.

Whether his actions are illegal is another question. When you don't have a written lease which defines how long the lease lasts, the law implies a term based on the relationship. When we talk about things like an apartment or a house, the term is generally a month to month lease. However, when the term is for a year or more, as in the case here, you must have a written lease to enforce your rights.

Without a written lease in your situation, you don't have any protection from the landlord deciding to terminate your lease.

As you have said, this leaves you in a terrible spot and now the landlord is suing.

What does the landlord say he wants in his lawsuit?

Have you talked to the landlord or the lawyer to see if they would think about letting you just walk away?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

we are letting land go and we paid the amount of rent on the written lease we had but he is suing for more money he wants what we paid during good crop years that we just gave as extra. He is not happy with the amount on the old lease which is the only one we have.


We just don't think we have to pay more that the lease amount especially with a drought year.


Can they make us pay more money without a lease?


Without a written lease that requires you to pay more, then the payment terms would revert to the old lease you had. I do not think he can require you to pay more or anything else.

There is a law called the Statute of Frauds. It requires that any lease with a term longer than one year must be in writing. You should be able to file a motion for summary judgment on this issue and beat his claim.

Have you answered the lawsuit yet?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no we haven't replied what do we need to do please? he wants the extra and interest plus damages

First things first.

What court is it in?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Bond County Court Greenville Illinois.

If you cannot afford an attorney, then you need to file an answer.

Use this form for the answer:

Where is says "motion" write "Defendant's Answer" instead.

Then you must write that you "generally deny, all in singular, each and every, allegations in Plaintiff's petition."

Then you want to have separate numbered paragraphs following that statement which point out the paragraph in the Plaintiff's petition and that you deny the allegation.

"Defendant specifically denies Plaintiff's allegations in Paragraph 2." And state the reason for your denial.

Next you want to write "Further, Defendant will show that Plaintiff's cause of action is barred by the Statute of Frauds."

Then write a "For these reasons, Defendant asks the court to require the Plaintiff to prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence at a trial of this matter, and after the trial that the court dismiss Plaintiff's claims.

Then put "respectfully submitted" and sign your name.

Then you ahve to file this at the court house for your case.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

so we will have to go to court with a lawyer? I have just got out of the hospital and this is making me sicker.


This ground was purchased this summer by these people we didn't even ever rent to them or talk to them. They say we have to pay what the owner before got and the one said the crop year was up November 1st even though we have always just done what we could and so he cut down all the corn that was left to be used for feed and took it all.

yes, you definitely have to go to court and you need to file an answer FAST.

You can find a lawyer to do it for you or you can try to do it yourself.

It sounds like the new owner has done some unfair stuff and may have even wrongfully converted your crop. So the lawyer you hire will have something to work with in your defense.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you so much I am falling apaprt here we are little family and only rent 300 acres with none of our own and putting 2 girls through college. I was lost.

Just stick it out. It's terrible that they did this to you. I wish you good luck.

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