Okay, this is probably a stupid question. I'm moving my horse to a new barn at the start of January. Since it's only 1 1/2 months 'til then, the new barn said I could take the stall (the only one they have, currently vacant) if I put $100 down as deposit. I wanted to wait 'til January so I could give my current BOs just a little more than 30 days at least, because they've been wonderful to me.
So that $100 would be deposit on my first month's board, right, rather than a holding fee for December, plus my January board then? That seemed to be the way it was phrased with the term "deposit," but now that people are mentioning paying a monthly rate to hold a stall, I'm a little confused and don't want to insult my new barn owners by shorting them $100 in January...
Deposits can work a couple different ways. There may be a "security deposit" which the BO keeps until you eventually leave - and then returns to you, possibly minus any costs for damage that might have been done during your stay.
Or it might just be a deposit to hold the stall for you until January, which you would forfeit if you didn't show up on the first of the year.
You did get a contract, right? It should be spelled out for you in that document.
If you got nothing in writing, now might be a good time to ask for a copy of the "boarding documents," or at least a receipt for the $100 you gave them, stating whether or not it will be applied to the first month's board, held for security, etc.
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
I haven't gotten the contract yet, have to swing by and pick it up--just got the basic barn rules and so on. I would definitely expect to pay a fee if they were holding it until February or something, but since it's only 45 days I don't think they were concerned, and the use of terms like deposit and "hundred dollars down" make me assume it's like "earnest money" for January in case I back out at the last minute... but I guess I'll have to look at the contract and ask specifically if it's still unclear. (:
I would definitely clarify with them. I recently took two stalls and put them on hold for someone moving here (but doesn't know when). Since I have a waiting list, I told her I would take $200/ea stall/ea mo. to take them "off" available, but would put that towards her board once she came. However, if she doesn't it's non-refundable. Did you get anything in writing? You should!!
Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears.
Well, now I am curious about something. The logic (it seems) for charging a "hold" fee when you take your horse out for training, circuit, etc is that some of the overhead costs (i.e. labor, shavings, etc) are incurred whether your horse is in the stall or not so they charge accordingly (some charge the full amount, some charge overhead). So, using that logic, why would you charge a new person a "deposit" to hold the stall until they move in and then credit them the deposit once the horse(s) is there? Why wouldn't you just keep the "deposit" and treat it like a "hold" fee? Or, to flip it around, why wouldn't you charge your current boarder (who presumably is a good boarder) a "deposit" fee while they are gone that they would forfeit if they don't come back (or that would be credited to them when they returned) instead of charging a "hold" fee? Just trying to understand why these are looked at as two different things, especially if applying the argument that some of the overhead fees are the same for the BO regardless of whether or not a horse is in the stall. It seems to me, using that argument, that you are then losing money by charging a deposit rather than just charging a hold fee.
For a new boarder, I accept a deposit off the 1st month's board as long as it is not too far in the furture as I know they have to give notice, and I want the same courtesy. More than a typical notice, I charge to hold the stall.
Often that deposit is taken while the current resident is still paying foir the stall. That is the purpose of boarders giving notice - so one moves out on the 30th, and the next moves in with no loss of income.
FHC - that makes sense and if I understand you correctly, anything more than the typical 30 days' notice would then be charged a "hold" fee as opposed to a deposit.
This thread (and the other) had been great for the ongoing discussion we (me and the one other boarder) are having with our BO. It has been nice to know how other people handle this scenario. Since we are in a private barn - not a commercial boarding barn - it is nice that we are able to have the open discussion we are having (no hard feelings) and really figure out what works best for all involved and our situation. And, of course, the final decision will be worked into the current contract for future use (for instance, when my baby grows up and I have to send her out for saddle breaking).
As a side note, I called a couple friends at different barns and asked them what their boarding contract says and I was surprised to find out that this issue is not addressed in a lot of contracts. Definitely something to think about if you run your own barn or if you are planning on boarding out.