Leasing and Liability

You’re the owner. Remember, you’re still responsible.

Any time a visitor enters your land, you take on responsibility for their safety. That responsibility—your legal and financial liability—depends on your relationship with the visitor.

Hunting lessees are a kind of visitor called an invitee. An invitee is someone who enters your land for your financial benefit. Anyone who pays a fee to hunt, fish, camp, or otherwise spend time in your woods is an invitee.

According to the law, invitees are owed the highest duty of care. That means you’re responsible for:

  • regularly inspecting your property to identify conditions that could harm your invitees
  • removing or repairing any dangerous conditions
  •  warning your invitees about potential hazards on the property

Protecting yourself is also important. Make sure you have the appropriate insurance for your situation, and require your lessees to obtain and show proof of insurance as well. With an attorney’s help, draw up liability releases and revise your leasing contract to keep your assets safe.

You’ll find more information about liability in our Landowner Liability 101.

Once you begin leasing, you’ll want to keep an eye on things to be sure everyone is respecting your agreement. The trick is to monitor your property without interfering with your lessee’s hunting experience.

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