University of Maryland Extension

Land acquisition and access

Nicole Cook, B.S., J.D., LL.M., Environmental and Agricultural, Faculty Legal Specialist, Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI), University of Maryland Eastern Shore

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This manual assumes that you have been farming for some period of time and you are already utilizing land and/or property. Your right to access the land or property, however, may not be entirely secure, or maybe you’ve identified other land that you’d like to use to expand your farm. If you don’t own the land outright or have a legal right to access the land, your farm could be in jeopardy. Not only might lack of legal access to land or property restrict available funding, but all of the investments that you’ve put into the land or property could be lost at any time.

In addition, using land that you do not own could constitute trespass and may result in civil and/or criminal sanctions against the trespasser(s). Unless you own the land or the property, you must acquire the rights to enter and to use the land to avoid trespass charges, compensation claims, and the loss of all the time and money put into the farm.

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Types of property rights


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