Right to Farm Community Responsibilities

We had a few questions about who is responsible for what in regards to Right to Farm. In a nutshell, the seller’s agent must disclose and ensure the RTF disclosure notification is executed and sent to the towns that require it.  Town Mailing/Email list in PDF format | Right to Farm Standard Notification formPrintable Sample Right to Farm form and Law Flyer

Here is a quick reminder about best practices for Right to Farm provisions.

STEP 1) Seller’s agents should note if the property is located in a Right to Farm community in the MLS.  We have an updated list next to the field in the MLS. Talk to your seller about providing this disclosure form to buyers at the purchase and sale time, as outlined in your Exclusive Right to Sell agreement. Maybe even get in the habit of uploading it with your lead paint form.

STEP 2) Buyer’s agents should make special note of the Right to Farm status as disclosed in the MLS and explain that they may be exposed to farm activities (smells, tractors, cow crossings, dust, noise).  It does NOT mean the buyer actually has a right to use their property as a farm.

STEP 3) Seller’s agent should make sure that within 21 days of P&S execution, the buyer signs the RTF disclosure notification. This is a great form to add to the listing documents along with the lead paint form or other signed disclosures.

STEP 4: Seller’s agent should provide or remind their seller to provide a copy of the signed Right to Farm form to the town before the sale (Note:  This form must be signed by the buyer and on file with the town before transfer or else a fine in the amount of $300 can be assessed.)

EXTRA STEP: Save a copy in your closing file.

Common FAQ

Q. Who is responsible to provide the disclosure notification to the buyer and to the town?

A. The standard bylaw states that the landowner shall present the buyer or occupant with the disclosure notification. As such, a seller’s representative may submit this form on their client’s behalf.

Q. Does this mean that buyers can’t complain about farming activities that impact their land?

A. No. The model bylaws used by many towns include a section that deals with the resolution of disputes and outlines where to file a grievance.

Q. Does this mean that buyers can farm on the land?

A. No. What you can / cannot do on a property is governed by zoning regulations. This is a disclosure only and does not grant a landowner any rights outside of those indicated in zoning classifications.