Assignment of the rural lease

Verified 07 October 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The sale of the rural lease is in principle prohibited. However, it is still possible in a family setting when authorized by the lessor.

The assignment of a rural lease is the transfer by the tenant to another person of his right to exploit the land or plots leased.

In principle, the sale of the rural lease is forbidden to any person outside the family of the farmer. Only intra-family assignment is permitted.

The farmer may therefore assign his lease only to the following persons:

  • Its descendants adult or emancipated (children, grandchildren, great grandchildren). Therefore, the tenant cannot give up his lease to his son-in-law.
  • Her husband, wife or Civil partnership partner who participates in the operation, as co-operator or collaborating spouse

This prohibition is imposed on both the tenant and the lessor. They may not provide for exceptions to this principle in the contract. We're talking about public policy rule.


The rural leases long-term (18, 25 or career) may provide that any assignment is prohibited, including within the family.

When signed before a notary, they may authorize the lessee to assign his lease to the person of his choice.

The transferee must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Holder of a Brevet d'études professionnels agricole (BEPA) or a Brevet professionnelle agricole (BPA) type diploma
  • Have at least 5 years of professional experience.

If he cannot prove that he has a diploma or that professional experience, he must ask for a authorization to operate to the Departmental Directorate for Territories and the Sea (DDTM).

Before transferring his rural lease to a member of his family, the tenant must first obtain the agreement of the landlord and then inform him of his plan to transfer it.

1. Obtain permission from the lessor

A farmer who wishes to lease a farm must first obtain the agreement of the lessor. This agreement may be given for a specific assignment or in advance in a clause of the lease.

The lessor may refuse the assignment if the lessee has not fulfilled his obligations. This is the case, for example, when the tenant has not paid his rents or when he has not properly maintained the leased land.

The consent of the lessor must be clear. It cannot be deduced from the lessor's silence.

The lessor may terminate the lease that was entered into without the agreement of the lessor.

In the absence of agreement by the lessor, the assignment may be authorized by the court. The lessee must then request an authorization to transfer to the joint rural leases court.

2. Inform the lessor of the proposed transfer

The lessee must send the proposed assignment to the lessor by registered letter with AR, at least 2 months prior to completion.

The proposed sale of the rural lease specifies the proposed take-over date and the identity of the take-over.

Where the tenant of a rural lease is judicial liquidation, the court may authorize the lessor, his spouse or one of his descendants to take over the rural fund to operate it.

The court may also award the rural lease to another tenant proposed by the lessor or to any other operator.

Who can help me?

Find who can answer your questions in your region