I will skip the boring details but I had talked to my husband about possibly renting out our barn. It was just a thought and nothing more. It could be nice. Possibly some extra income, yada, yada, yada. I hadn't even thought how to go about it. I wouldn't know where to advertise or how to find someone.
So today I go to the local feed store and there on the bulletin board is a piece of pink paper with the following:
Wanted - barn for rent
I am a firm believer in signs so when I got home I called the number. I just wanted to find out the details - who this person was, what they were looking for, etc. The man who answered the phone said that he was a horse trainer (Tennesee Walkers) and was currently going to clients barns or homes but wanted to have a place that he could bring in 4-5 horses at a time and put them through his 60 day program. He said that he is a self employed carpenter but that his wife works outside the home and they are relatively new to this immediate area. I explained our place and that I was not ready to make any decisions today but that I would discuss it with my husband.
So could this be a good situation? I have carpentry work that needs to be done in this barn. Oh yes and he is also a farrier. A horse trainer, carpenter, farrier. I asked him if his clients would be at the barn and he said no. They usually come around the 30 mark but would not be riding the horses.
I was thinking about maybe giving him use of the barn in exchange for work. What are you alls thoughts on this? What about a background check/application? Maybe a 60 day trial period where he could bring in one client's horse and if it didn't work out he could leave?
What should I be thinking about? I will answer any questions to help clarify the situation. Thanks in advance.
He should have them from his farrier, vet, clients etc etc etc. You will want to know that he pays his bills, is responsible, is easy to get along with. There's a trainer around here that seems to move barns every nine months or so . . . and there's a reason for that!
Think about how you would contract in writing bartering services for the rent. Would you attach a list of projects that he had to do in return for the rent? How would you define the quality of those services? So much easier to rent for money and then pay him for work. At least then, if you don't like his work, you can still get your rent and use someone else.
You are the deep pocket (land owner) that lawyers would go after regardless of who is actually responsible for any accidents.
I'd write in the contract that he must have one month's inventory of feed for all the horses he brings in. So, if he folds and you are left with a barn full of horses you don't end up paying out of pocket to feed them.
You have an owner contact number and emergency number for each horse for the same reason (and you verify each one).
Are you expected to be the night watch for the barn? What if a horse needs medication? Colic's? Are you expected to make the vet call?
Lastly, do you know how he trains and what is standard for his discipline ? Not everyone is comfortable with different training methods or styles of showing/training.
I would consider having some involvement just minimal. Maybe a barn check in the evenings.
These questions are fantastic and really giving me alot to think about. This man could be really upstanding and honest or he could be a total freak. I am going to play it by ear and maybe just start by going to meet him and his wife and do a background check.
I am considering the list of references to include some examples of his carpentry work. I would purchase any materials and he would be responsible for the labor. Or maybe I should go the route of charging rent and then as you all suggested pay him for each job that I want done.
If he does not carry his own insurance how does he go about getting a policy? Can anyone recommend an agency? What would he be expected to pay for a policy to cover his training operation - just a ballpark figure?
Insurance-if you are going to go with an umbrella policy, then he needs to pay more..if he is going to take out a liability and care and custody policy then you need to get a lawyer to write something up.
Also, be very clear about what he is responsible for, feeding, cleaning, ect...
What he is allowed to use, tack rooms, arenas, paddocks, ect...Is he going to be responsible for feeding/cleaning/turn-out of your animals. Getting all this in the open will cause less upset in the long run. Who is responsible for upgrades and maintence? Obviously if one of his horses causes the damage he is...but general fence mending ect..just because he knows how does not mean he should do it all for free
I would think for tax reasons it would be easier to get him to pay you a set fee for each stall and then just turn around and pay him.
Personally, instead of bartering-I would do a set fee per stall $50-$100 per stall per month. Have him pay you on the say 10th or 15th whenever he can collect from his clients.
You have him either bid each project or pay him hourly..and then pay him.
Someone almost always get screwed in barter situations.
This can be a win-win situation for both of you...just both you and your husband sit down with him and spend the time talking it over.
Also realize that renting your barn out will probably make your current homeowners' insurance null and void, since it most likely stipulates it does not cover any 'commercial' activities.
So even if the guy has his own insurance to cover liability on that end - if your house burned down, and your insurance co. somehow got wind of the situation - they could deny your claim for that.
I would call my insurance agent and talk to him/her about it. That's what I did since we were looking at (and subsequently purchased) a property with a garage apartment we wanted to lease out. And also, beware that most ihome nsurance agents do not at all understand 'horse' issues.
And, btw, I own a small house/farm I owned before I got married that I kept and lease out - and I have found it is not at all worth it to rent it to someone with any 'training' business. I only lease it to people with their own private horses and stipulate that in the (voluminous) lease agreement. My regular insurance covers it in that instance - but not in the other. Plus, IMHO, 'trainers' can be a pretty flaky bunch and I would much rather rent to someone with a 'real' job who has horses as a hobby, like I do. You might trty and do that instead - just find someone who has a few horses of their own who would like their 'own' place.
I have found it is not at all worth it to rent it to someone with any 'training' business. I only lease it to people with their own private horses and stipulate that in the (voluminous) lease agreement. My regular insurance covers it in that instance - but not in the other.
Agreed. We are currently trying to rent out our barn in SE PA and have had numerous inquiries from trainers. The insurance differential to us the landowner between a private horseowner with only their own horses, and someone who wants to train/board is over $2400/ year. Plus the Care/Custody/Control that we would require the trainer/our tenant to have on each horse not personally owned by the trainer. Those are direct costs to us that we would pass on to the trainer/tenant. So far in every instance, that $200+ more per month has been enough for them to thank us politely and move on. Which is fine by us because quite frankly even with the additional insurance it is just a liability and lawsuit waiting to happen!
I think that the whole sticking point here is going to be the issue with the insurance.
He would have nothing to do with us or our horses per se. There is a completely separate entrance for the barn at the very back of the property. The house is at the very front. I would move my two horses to the front pasture close to the house. I cannot see the barn, round pen or pasture he would use from the house. That is part of the reason that I want to rent it out. It is too inconvenient for me to use right now. I would love to have the horses closer to the house.
I am beginning to see the light in regards to the bartering situation but I think that I could get more "labor" dollars than rent. But I can see the potential nightmare.
I am starting a list of questions to have answered before we say yes to this. My husband is home this week so he can interro...I mean interview the trainer.