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Alberta’s FAO cautions landowners about surface lease offers

Apr. 26, 2016 - Alberta Agriculture and Forestry's Farmers' Advocate Office (FAO) has received reports of one or more enterprises offering to buy surface leases from landowners.

"This is apparently being marketed as a means of eliminating a perceived risk of not getting paid," explains Jeana Les, rural engagement and communications specialist with the FAO. "From our perspective, this is misleading because landowners can recover unpaid rentals through the Surface Rights Board in the event that an operator has become insolvent or decided not to pay. This approach capitalizes on people's fears of not getting paid."

The FAO issued a landowner advisory on April 22, 2016, which is available on the FAO website. "We encourage landowners to read the advisory posted on our website to better understand some of the possible implications of selling their surface leases," states Les. "Opting for a payout right now may seem attractive, but there are many factors to consider in the long-term."

The FAO has yet to receive complete details on the proposed agreements, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.