Land lease contract and prior right of lessee to concluding the new land lease contract - case of Slovakia

Author:Anna Bandlerová - Jarmila Lazíková
Position:Department of Law, Faculty of Economics and Management, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra - Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra
Pages:304-320
SUMMARY

Land lease is one of the few possible ways to use the agricultural land effectively. This is caused by problems in the proprietary and user relationships, therefore the agricultural land lease and its legal regulation is especially important for Slovakia. This paper deals with the selected legal arrangements related to the agricultural land lease in Slovakia with an objective to identify... (see full summary)

 
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STUDIES AND COMMENTS
Land lease contract and prior right of lessee to concluding the new land
lease contract - case of Slovakia
Professor Anna BANDLEROVÁ
1
Ph.D. student Jarmila LAZÍKOVÁ
2
Abstrac t
Land lease is one of th e few possib le ways to use the agricult ural land effective ly.
This is caused by probl ems in the propri etary and user relati onships, therefore the
agricu ltural l and lea se and its legal regulat ion is espec ially importa nt for Slovak ia. This
paper deals wi th the selected legal arrang ements relate d to the agric ultural lan d lease in
Slova kia w ith an objective to ident ify applicat ion problems faced b y lessees and lessors of
agricu ltural land. When regula ting the agricult ural land lease relation ships, the Slova k law
maker pre fers d ispositive leg al n orms. However, this meth od is rarel y used in the
appl ication practice. Contractin g partie s often focus o nly on obli gatory chara cters of the
contra ct, relying on th e legal text of dispositive provision s. The lega l arrange ment of the
lessee’s p rior right to sig n the n ew lease contract a ttracts a parti cular atten tion. Current
legal reg ulation of this l essee’s righ t seems to be un enforceable; on the other hand, it
colli des with the b asic human right s. This provisio n needs to be eithe r ca ncelled or
adjusted so tha t it a chieves th e objective defined by the law mak er and so that it is leg ally
enforceab le in complian ce with superi or legal norms
Keywords: agricu ltural land , land lease, lan d lease contra ct, prior right o f lessee
JEL Cla ssification: K12,
1. Introduction
Current state of the land ownership in Slovakia is affected by the two basic
problems. First, it is a problem of unjustified land ownership caused by
inconsistent registration in the past. Owners of approximately 20% of agricultural
land the so-called unknown owners’ land, are unidentified today. This land
cannot be the subject of the purchase and sale due to the unidentified seller. It is
administered by the Slovak Land Fund
3
, the legal person established by the law for
the purpose of administration of the state land and the so-called unknown owners’
1
Anna Bandlerová - Dep artment of Law, Faculty of Economics and Management, Slovak University
of Agriculture in Nitra, Anna.Bandlerova@Uniag.Sk
2
Jarmila Lazíková - Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, PhD. student of P aneuropean
University Bratislava, Jarmila.Lazikova@uniag.sk
3
Slovak Land Fund is the legal p erson, established by the Law N o. 330/1991 Collection, registered
in the Business Register and administering the st ate land and the unknown ow ners’ land. The Fund
currently administers app roximately 25% of the total area of agricultural land in Slovakia. T he
unknown owners’ land represents 20% of t his area; 5% represents the land owned by t he state.
Juridical Tribune Volume 6, Issue 2, December 2016
305
land.
4
Second, there is a problem of extreme fragmentation of the land ownership
manifested in two ways - in fragmentation of the ownership right towards the land
and in technical fragmentation. Fragmentation of the proprietary right is
characterised by a high number of land co owners (12 15 co owners per 0.45
ha of land)
5
and a very low average area of the land ownership per one owner
(often in ten-thousandths). Technical fragmentation is manifested through scattered
small area lands owned by the same owner in the terrain and through the limited
access, or through no access of the owner to this land. These problems cause that
the major area of the land (it is estimated that around 90% of the agricultural land)
is the subject of lease. Owners and the Slovak Land Fund let this land on a lease for
agricultural subjects (agricultural cooperatives, agricultural commercial
corporations, or farmers). Therefore, the legal regulation of agricultural land lease
and its individual legal arrangements require the attention of Slovak law maker,
too. The paper deals with the selected legal arrangements related to the agricultural
land lease in Slovakia with an objective to identify application problems faced by
the agricultural land owners as well as agricultural subjects farming on the leased
land.
2. Lease contract
Lease contract is regulated in the § 663 684 of the Civil Code. However,
Law No. 504/2003 Collection on lease of the agricultural land, farm and forest land
and amending some laws (hereinafter as Law on lease of agricultural land) has
been especially adopted as an independent legal document for the land lease
purpose, performing as a special legislation (lex specialis) towards the Civil Code.
Law on lease of agricultural land regulates the agricultural land lease in two
different situations:
land lease for agricultural purposes where the law maker assumes the
“short-term, disposable and occasional lease of smaller and consistent
areas;”
6
;
land lease for agricultural purposes inconducting a business, assuming
the land use for agricultural production where substantial expenditures
for land maintenance and restoration, soil fertility increase, plant
production effective technics, transport, manipulation, and for
constructions and infrastructure are required.
7
Lease contract is the contract in which the lessor undertak es to leave
property to the lessee for consideration to use or to gain proceeds from the
property on a temporary basis 663 of the Civil Code). Temporary nature and
4
Unknown ow ner is either t he owner, whose name is known, but his place of residence or domicile
is not know n - the most, or t he owner is not known, for example because the land book in the
village was lost.
5
The explanatory memorandum to the Law No. 504/2003 Collection , p. 6-7.
6
The explanatory memorandum to the Law No. 504/2003 Collection, p. 5.
7
The explanatory memorandum to the Law No. 504/2003 Collection, p. 5.

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