Real Property Agreements


PCPA is responsible for the administration of most real property agreements for UC ANR. This includes leases, licenses, easements, rights-of-way, researcher's access agreements and other related contracts.

Below we will briefly outline the different types of real property agreements, how to select the appropriate real property agreement, execution/proper authority and provide useful links.

Use the Agreement Process section on the right to initiate the review of the agreement. You can also contact us at the email on the right with any questions!

On this page: Leases, Licenses, FUAs, Other Real Property Agreements, How to select, Execution, Useful Links


Lease agreements for real property may be executed with the UC as the Lessor or the Lessee. A lease is an agreement in which the landlord agrees to give the tenant the exclusive right to occupy real property, usually for a specific term and, in exchange, the tenant agrees to give the landlord some sort of consideration. A lease transfers to the tenant a leasehold interest in the real property and, unless otherwise provided in the lease, a lease is transferable and irrevocable.


A license gives the permission of the owner to an individual or an entity to use real property for a specific purpose. Unlike a lease, it does not transfer an interest in the real property. It is personal to the licensee and any attempt to transfer the license terminates it. It is (usually) revocable and can be either exclusive or non- exclusive.

Licenses are sometimes included in other agreements, e.g. a memorandum of understanding. It is highly recommended that a separate license be created whenever a right to use another party’s space, usually for a shorter term, is part of a larger relationship. The separate license should be attached as an exhibit to the more general agreement.

Licenses must be reviewed by PCPA. PCPA will evaluate and negotiate efforts to use UC's preferred language for hold harmless clauses and generally assess the insurance requirements. PCPA will also determine if the use of a UCOP License Checklist is necessary.

Facility Use Agreements

A facility use agreement (FUA) is a short form license for very limited use of a facility. Please visit the FUA page for more information regarding FUAs.

Other Real Property Agreements

An easement, like a license, gives the permission of the owner to use or prevent the use of the owner’s real property. However, unlike a license, it transfers to the easement holder an interest in the real property that encumbers the title record. Easements are classified as either appurtenant (benefiting and transferable with a specific piece of real property) or in gross (personal to the grantee). An easement can be transferred. Unless otherwise specified, an easement is presumed to be permanent and non-exclusive. 

For more information about the types of real property agreements, you can access the UCOP Facility Manual linked below.

Selection of Real Property Agreements

  • If the right to use the property will belong exclusively to the user during the term, even as against the property owner, a LEASE will accomplish that goal.
  • If the use/occupancy of the property will be shared with others during the term, then a LICENSE or an EASEMENT is the proper tool. NOTE: For a LICENSE or EASEMENT to convey the right to exclusive use, it must be specified in the document.
  • If the use is to be long-term (like the underground installation of fiber optic cable), an EASEMENT is the appropriate form. If the use is to be short-term (like a construction lay down area or a film shoot) or for only part of the time during the term, (like use of a classroom Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9-10 am, for a semester), a LICENSE is most appropriate. If the use is intermittent, the FUA would be appropriate in the latter example.
  • If an owner wants an agreement that his/her view not be blocked by the use of another parcel, such an agreement should be documented with an EASEMENT.

Execution/Signature Authority

Real Property Agreements need to be signed by the proper authorities from all parties. Proper Authority for the execution of real property agreements is from Delegation of Authority 2629, Capital Project Matters, which has been re-delegated with limited scope to the Associate Vice President, the Associate Vice President – Business Operations, the Controller, and the Vice Provost of Research and Extension.

Typically, PCPA arranges for execution for both parties. We prefer to use electronic signatures (eSignatures) through DocuSign. To help expedite your agreement:

  1. Discuss eSignature option when beginning collaborations
  2. Provide name and title of signature authority for other party & direct email with draft agreement