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Code of Federal Regulations Title 7. Agriculture § 7.1955.66 Lease of real property

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When inventory real property, except for FSA and MFH properties, cannot be sold promptly, or when custodial property is subject to lengthy liquidation proceedings, leasing may be used as a management tool when it is clearly in the best interest of the Government. Leasing will not be used as a means of deferring other actions which should be taken, such as liquidation of loans in abandonment cases or repair and sale of inventory property. Leases will provide for cancellation by the lessee or the Agency on 30–day written notice unless Special Stipulations in an individual lease for good reason provide otherwise. If extensive repairs are needed to render a custodial property suitable for occupancy, this will preclude its being leased since repairs must be limited to those essential to prevent further deterioration of the security in accordance with § 1955.55(c) of this subpart. The requirements of part 1970 of this chapter will be met for all leases.

(a) Authority to approve lease of property—

(1) Custodial property. Custodial property may be leased pending foreclosure with the servicing official approving the lease on behalf of the Agency.

(2) Inventory property. Inventory property may be leased under the following conditions. Except for farm property proposed for a lease under the Homestead Protection Program, any property that is listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places may be leased only after the servicing official and the State Historic Preservation Officer determine that the lease will adequately ensure the property's condition and historic character.

(i) SFH. SFH inventory will generally not be leased;  however, if unusual circumstances indicate leasing may be prudent, the county official is authorized to approve the lease.

(ii) MFH. MFH projects will generally not be leased, although individual living units may be leased under a management agreement. After the property is placed under a management contract, the contractor will be responsible for leasing the individual units in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560. In cases where an acceptable management contract cannot be obtained, the District Director may execute individual leases.

(iii) Organization property other than MFH. Only the State Director, with the advice of appropriate National Office staff, may approve the lease of organization property other than MFH, such as community facilities, recreation projects, and businesses. A lease of utilities may require approval by State regulatory agencies.

(b) Selection of lessees for other than farm property. When the property to be leased is residential, a special effort will be made to reach prospective lessees who might not otherwise apply because of existing community patterns. A lessee will be selected considering the potential as a program applicant for purchase of the property (if property is suited for program purposes) and ability to preserve the property. The leasing official may require verification of income or a credit report (to be paid for by the prospective lessee) as he or she deems necessary to assure payment ability and creditworthiness of the prospective lessee.

(c) Selection of lessees for FSA property. FSA inventory property may only be leased to an eligible beginning farmer or rancher who was selected to purchase the property through the random selection process in accordance with § 1955.107(a)(2)(ii) of subpart C of this part. The applicant must have been able to demonstrate a feasible farm plan and Agency funds must have been unavailable at the time of the sale. Any applicant determined not to be a beginning farmer or rancher may request that the State Executive Director conduct an expedited review in accordance with § 1955.107(a)(2)(ii) of subpart C of this part.

(d) Property securing Farm Credit Programs loans located within an Indian Reservation.

(1) State Executive Directors will contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs Agency supervisor to determine the boundaries of Indian Reservations and Indian allotments.

(2) Not later than 90 days after acquiring a property, FSA will afford the Indian tribe having jurisdiction over the Indian reservation within which the inventory property is located an opportunity to purchase the property. The purchase shall be in accordance with the priority rights as follows:

(i) To a member of the Indian tribe that has jurisdiction over the reservation within which the real property is located;

(ii) To an Indian corporate entity;

(iii) To the Indian tribe.

(3) The Indian tribe having jurisdiction over the Indian reservation may revise the order of priority and may restrict the eligibility for purchase to:

(i) Persons who are members of such Indian tribe;

(ii) Indian corporate entities that are authorized by such Indian tribe to purchase lands within the boundaries of the reservation;  or

(iii) The Indian tribe itself.

(4) If any individual, Indian corporate entity, or Indian tribe covered in paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section wishes to purchase the property, the county official must determine the prospective purchaser has the financial resources and management skills and experience that is sufficient to assure a reasonable prospect that the terms of the purchase agreement can be fulfilled.

(5) If the real property is not purchased by any individual, Indian corporate entity or Indian tribe pursuant to paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section and all appeals have concluded, the State Executive Director shall transfer the property to the Secretary of the Interior if they are agreeable. If present on the property being transferred, important resources will be protected as outlined in §§ 1955.137 and 1955.139 of subpart C of this part.

(6) Properties within a reservation formerly owned by entities and non-tribal members will be treated as regular inventory that is not located on an Indian Reservation and disposed of pursuant to this part.

(e) Lease amount. Inventory property will be leased for an amount equal to that for which similar properties in the area are being leased or rented (market rent). Inventory property will not be leased for a token amount.

(1) Farm property. To arrive at a market rent amount, the county official will make a survey of lease amounts of farms in the immediate area with similar soils, capabilities, and income potential. The income-producing capability of the property during the term of the lease must also be considered. This rental data will be maintained in an operational file as well as in the running records of case files for leased inventory properties. While cash rent is preferred, the lease of a farm on a crop-share basis may be approved if this is the customary method in the area. The lessee will market the crops, provide FSA with documented evidence of crop income, and pay the pro rata share of the income to FSA.

(2) SFH property. The lease amount will be the market rent unless the lessee is a potential program applicant, in which case the lease amount may be set at an amount approximating the monthly payment if a loan were made (reflecting payment assistance, if any) calculated on the basis of the price of the house and income of the lessee, plus 1/12 of the estimated real estate taxes, property insurance, and maintenance which would be payable by a homeowner.

(3) Property other than farm or SFH. Any inventory property other than a farm or single-family dwelling will generally be leased for market rent for that type property in the area. However, such property may be leased for less than market rent with prior approval of the Administrator.

(f) Property containing wetlands or located in a floodplain or mudslide hazard area. Inventory property located in areas identified by the Federal Insurance Administration as special flood or mudslide hazard areas will not be leased or operated under a management contract without prior written notice of the hazard to the prospective lessee or tenant. If property is leased by FSA, the servicing official will provide the notice, and if property is leased under a management contract, the contractor must provide the notice in compliance with a provision to that effect included in the contract. The notice must be in writing, signed by the servicing official or the contractor, and delivered to the prospective lessee or tenant at least one day before the lease is signed. A copy of the notice will be attached to the original and each copy of the lease. Property containing floodplains and wetlands will be leased subject to the same use restrictions as contained in § 1955.137(a)(1) of subpart C of this part.

(g) Highly erodible land. If farm inventory property contains “highly erodible land,” as determined by the NRCS, the lease must include conservation practices specified by the NRCS and approved by FSA as a condition for leasing.

(h) Lease of FSA property with option to purchase. A beginning farmer or rancher lessee will be given an option to purchase farm property. Terms of the option will be set forth as part of the lease as a special stipulation.

(1) The lease payments will not be applied toward the purchase price.

(2) The purchase price (option price) will be the advertised sales price as determined by an appraisal prepared in accordance with § 761.7 of this title.

(3) For inventory properties leased to a beginning farmer or rancher applicant, the term of the lease shall be the earlier of:

(i) A period not to exceed 18 months from the date that the applicant was selected to purchase the inventory farm, or

(ii) The date that direct, guaranteed, credit sale or other Agency funds become available for the beginning farmer or rancher to close the sale.

(4) Indian tribes or tribal corporations which utilize the Indian Land Acquisition program will be allowed to purchase the property for its market value less the contributory value of the buildings, in accordance with subpart N of part 1823 of this chapter.

(i) Costs. The costs of repairs to leased property will be paid by the Government. However, the Government will not pay costs of utilities or any other costs of operation of the property by the lessee. Repairs will be obtained pursuant to subpart B of part 1924 of this chapter. Expenditures on custodial property as limited in § 1955.55(c)(2) of this subpart will be charged to the borrower's account as recoverable costs.

(j) Security deposit. A security deposit in at least the amount of one month's rent will be required from all lessees of SFH properties. The security deposit for farm property should be determined by considering only the improvements or facilities which might be subject to misuse or abuse during the term of the lease. For all other types of property, the leasing official may determine whether or not a security deposit will be required and the amount of the deposit.

(k)Lease form. Form RD 1955–20 approved by OGC will be used by the agency to lease property.

(l) Lease income. Lease proceeds will be applied as follows:

(1) Custodial property. The proceeds from a lease of custodial property will be applied to the borrower's account as an extra payment unless foreclosure proceedings require that such payments be held in suspense.

(2) Inventory property. The proceeds from a lease of inventory property will be applied to the lease account.

Cite this article: - Code of Federal Regulations Title 7. Agriculture § 7.1955.66 Lease of real property - last updated October 03, 2022 |

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