Verbal Lease Notification Dates

By Jeffrey Hignight

Many landowners still work with verbal leases. Although we do not recommend for numerous reasons, the main point of this article is to inform landowners of the verbal lease notification dates within our working area. If you are considering new lease terms for 2023 or intend to sell your property, it is highly advised to provide written and acknowledge notice to your tenant as required by your state. The following is our interpretation of state codes dealing with verbal lease termination notices. This information does not apply to a written agreement as the notice procedures would be described. Please visit with your legal counsel to discuss their interpretation of farmland verbal lease notices.

Arkansas –AR Code § 18-16-105, the owner of farmlands that are rented or leased under an oral rental or lease agreement may elect not to renew the oral rental or lease agreement for the following calendar year by giving written notice by certified mail to the renter or lessee on or before June 30 that the oral rental or lease agreement will not be renewed for the following calendar year.

Mississippi –MS Code § 89-7-23 (2013), leases in Mississippi that do not expire at a fixed time require written notice to be given at least two months from the end of the year or lease term. Lease terms of a half year or quarter year must have at least one month’s notice of termination, and lease terms lasting monthly or weekly must have one week’s notice of termination.

Missouri –MO Rev Stat § 441.050 states, either party may terminate a tenancy from year to year by giving notice, in writing, of his intention to terminate the same, not less than sixty days next before the end of the year. For a month-to-month lease, at least 30 days’ notice must be given. All forms of lease termination notice must be delivered in writing.

Tennessee - Tennessee has no definitive law on termination notices for verbal agreements. The courts have ruled that a holdover tenant must be given at least six months notice prior to expiration of the lease term. Traditional agricultural lease years run from Jan. 1 to 31st. To be on the safe side, providing termination notice in writing on or before June 30 would be advised.