LEASE is the contract establishing the relation between landlord and tenant (q.v.).. If the term of years is more than three, then it must be by deed under seal iu England, or by writing in Scotland, if for more than one year. An improving lease is where the lessee agrees to keep the Premises in repair. A building lease is where the tenant intends to build a Noose on the land. See ButtanNu LEAan, also GROUND-RENT.
'Fite granting of leases to those holding land from the owners has been general in Scotland for more than a century. To this is, no doubt, to be ascribed, Co a great extent, the rapid progress which improvements in fanning have made in the north' with* that period. The length of leases iu Seothind is commonly nineteen years. Recently, in pastoral farms, where no rotation of crops is required, and no substantial improvement expected, short leases of seven or ten years have come into use. What we have to notice in particular is the common agricultural lease of nineteen years, which forms the great base of rural prosperity. During the currency of this species of lease, the tenant has in a great measure the uncontrolled possession of the land, and this lengthened term enables him to reap the benefits of improvements or money expended. Leases on the Scotch system are now becoming more general both in England and Ire land. No doubt holding land from yi ar to year has wrought well in some parts of England, where large capitals are invested in the land by tenants who have no other security than the good faith and feeling between themselves and landlords. In Scot land, however, the system of leases alone meets the tastes and genius of farming. A lease should be clearly and concisely written, so that the terms may be well understood by both parties, and all disputes at its expiry avoided. The Cropping clauses of leases vary with the localities. In the neighborhood of towns the tenant is usually allowed to sell the whole produce, including the straw, but is bound to bring back manure to make up the waste. In inlaud parts. on the other hand, where the selling of the straw year after year might impoverish the soil, it is customary to restrict tenants from so doing. It is also common to debar tenants from selling turnips. Both these clauses cannot be considered as any hardship to improving tenants. The raising and selling of potatoes off the land should not be restricted. In the best arable districts, tenants are often bound not to take two white crops in succession. This is, perhaps, a good enough rule to be applied to light lands, but in other cases barley might be allowed to be taken after wheat. All farmers should be allowed to grow peas to a certain extent, but not more than the twentieth part of the land under regular cultivation. The cropping
clauses should be framed in accordance with the systems prevailing in the neighbor hood. Whatever these are, they should be clearly defined. No such clauses as "farm ing according to the rules of good husbandry" should be allowed, as this is apt to lead to a disagreement in defining what these rules are.. The terms of entry are usually Whitsunday and Martinmas, which require very different arrangements in the terms of leases. In drawing up these, the most experienced farmers of their respective districts should be consulted, and the terms framed, as far as possible, to encourage the free application of capital to land, and at the same time to avoid the deterioration of the land at the expiry of the term.
The following are the usual clauses in In agricultural lease, viz.: 1. Landlord lets lauds specified for term of years, excluding assignees and sub-tenants. 2. Reserves mines, etc., with power to work them; power to excamb, plant, alter, and make roads, hunt, shoot, and fish, cut and carry away trees, feu part of lands for building purposes, inspect farm, etc. When exercise of 'reservations causes surface damage, this to be paid for. 3. Clause of warrandiee. 4. Assignation to obligation of previous tenant to leave premises 5. Specific details as to additional houses and fences required. 6. Obligation on tenant to pay rent specfied at two terms.. 7. To maintain and leave fences in good repair. 8. To insure houses against damage by fire. 9. Cropping clause regulating cultivation of lands, torl manlier in which they are to be left; and also disposal of Wavgoing crop, manure, fallow-break, etc. 10. Arbitration claus3 for settlement of disputes. 11. Obligation to remove at expiration of lease. 12. General obligatory clause. 13. Clause of registration. And 14. Testing clause.
• Every lease has its own peculiar details in reference to drainage, houses, and crock ping. When a tenant enters without paying for the straw or manure, it is called " steelbow." and lie receives no value for these when he leaves. Occasionally rents are paid wholly or in part by the current price of grain, a quantity of grain being fixed, convertible at the average market price of the season, as determined by a jury before the sheriff in a court called the fiars court. In consequence of the preciseness in which Scotch leases are drawn up, disputes are of rare occurrence. It will, of course, be understood that such leases can only be brought into operation where landlords are able and willing to put farms thoroughly in order for the tenant, and where the tenant pos sesses sufficient capital to work the farm advantageously.