You may have any number of reasons for needing access to a privately owned piece of land; for example, you may want to hike or hunt on the land, or you may want to explore for oil deposits. No matter the reason, a clearly stated letter requesting access to the property is the first step to realizing your desire to use the land. The letter states your intentions clearly and lays out the conditions under which you are allowed to use the land, such as payment, for the landowner to see.
Type your address. Skip a line space, and type the date. Skip another line space and type the property owner's name and address on separate lines. Skip an additional line, and type "Dear Ms./Mr. (Last name)" followed by a colon.
Request access to the land and explain why you would like to use the land and for what time period.
Provide detail about your use of the land, such as if your use of the land will damage the land in any way or if you will be removing anything from the property. If any people will accompany you, include their names in the letter as well. Be specific about what you intend to do and the activity's possible effects on the landowner or the land.
Explain the compensation you are prepared to offer the property owner in exchange for your use of the land, if applicable. Offer to have your lawyer write a contract for the landowner's peace of mind.
Thank the property owner for his or her time. Give any deadlines or action information that he or she would need to accept the offer, such as having the landowner's lawyer call your lawyer to negotiate a contract for the use of the property. Provide your contact information.
Close the letter by typing "Sincerely," and skip three lines. Type your name. Print the letter and sign your name above the typed name.
If you do not know the property owner's name, check property records at the county courthouse. You are more likely to have your request granted if you ask a specific person rather than write a general letter.
Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.