Property use agreements can be drafted for any number of different types of property. They are used to clarify what the rights of the different people are and so they should be written in a clear fashion to ensure that everyone understands the key points. A well-drafted agreement can help people avoid court battles. While it is wise to consult an attorney, a careful person can draft one provided that the subject of the agreement is not too complex.
State the Subject of the Agreement
It is crucial that the agreement clearly state what property is being discussed. If it is a piece of land that will be used by two people, make sure that the agreement clearly identifies the land. It should state the address, city and state of the land. If there is a parcel number, this should be included in the agreement.
Type of Use
Sometimes a property owner will allow another person to use the property for specific purposes. These purposes should be stated in the agreement. If you want to allow your neighbor to swim in your lake but not do anything else with the lake, state that the other party is only allowed to swim in the lake. You may want to include some restricting language that will limit the uses of the property. It could read something like, "my neighbor is limited to the use of the lake as a place to swim. The restrictions on the use of my land include but are not limited to fishing, harvesting of aquatic plants or other commercial uses."
Duration of the Agreement
If you do not indicate the duration of the agreement, a court could interpret the rights you are granting as perpetual. So if you want to allow the use for only a year, state it in the agreement.
If there is a condition that will change the rights of anyone involved, state the condition. This can occur in a situation where the property owner finds a use acceptable in his current situation, but when his scenario changes he has to reconsider the use of his land. For example, a property owner may not mind a neighbor hunting on his land. But then the property owner's wife gives birth, and he is concerned about their child being harmed. So state something such as "I grant my neighbor the right to hunt game on my land until the time that my wife gives birth to a child or we adopt a child."
Create a Written Agreement
In all but the closest relationships, it is essential to have a written agreement when it relates to property. Two different people can have different recollections of a conversation, and one person may not remember one of the terms of an agreement. Furthermore, if property gains in value due to a new use or a new material that is found on the property, arguments can lead to court battles.
John Toivonen is an attorney in Lansing, Mich., and has been a professional writer since 1999. His work has appeared in "The Washington Times." He holds a Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Guilford College.