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  1. #1

    Default Free Lease Legal Question

    I have a horse out on free lease, and part of the contract wording is that I continue to pay for vet and farrier, provided that the leaser sends me the bill.

    Leaser hasn't sent any bills apart from the first, says they don't feel like it's right: they're using the horse, not me.

    Not that I suspect that the leaser is up to no good....but is this something that I should be insistent about? Is there any way that ownership could be questioned, as I am not paying any bills?

    It may all be paranoia (as my eight page contract will contest!) but it was just a question that popped into my head the other day.



  2. #2
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    They answer is "DAYS"... sorry, that was the last one.

    The question is really, has the vet & farrier been out & WT(...) would anyone not have them charge the owner if they had the option??

    Go get your horse back.
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine



  3. #3
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    Feb. 14, 2010
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nes View Post
    They answer is "DAYS"... sorry, that was the last one.

    The question is really, has the vet & farrier been out & WT(...) would anyone not have them charge the owner if they had the option??

    Go get your horse back.
    I'm not sure that I understand your first sentence?

    I don't feel any need to get my horse back; I get frequent updates and he is doing fabulous, and I've visited him a few times. He's just fine.

    But I was just wondering if I should be more insistent about paying the bills. For what it's worth, he's barefoot and I sent him off completely up to date, so it's not as if he has been a money pit of bills...just regular trims.



  4. #4
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    Did you talk to your leasor?
    Did they give you a reason why they are not sending on the bills?

    Yes, having current bills in anyone name is a good way to claim ownership of a horse.
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine



  5. #5
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    Feb. 14, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nes View Post
    Did you talk to your leasor?
    Did they give you a reason why they are not sending on the bills?

    Yes, having current bills in anyone name is a good way to claim ownership of a horse.
    Yes I did. As I mentioned in the first post, when questioned about it the leaser stated that he's such an easy keeper and they're having so much fun with him that they feel like it's unfair for me to pay the bills, since I am not using him. I do have this in an email, for what it's worth.



  6. #6
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    Do they have a signed lease contract from you?
    With your signature on it?

    See where I'm going here...?


    No, have you talked to the leaser, stating that the original contract was that you pay for the bills and expressing your concerns?
    Why didn't they say something when the lease was made if they felt they should pay those bills?


    If you feel completely comfortable with the lease why are you even asking?
    If you're worried, then yes, trust your gut. Go get your horse.
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine



  7. #7
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    Aug. 11, 2003
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    Are you crazy? :-) Do you have any more you would like to lease out and pay the costs on?

    You should be delighted. It's more the norm in a lease that the person leasing pays for the maintenance costs, not the original owner. If I was leasing a horse I would also expect to pay for shoeing and routine vet, I would feel very odd about the owner feeling obligated to pay for that.

    When I leased a lovely DWB for a while the owner did exactly the opposite. The lease stated that I pay for routine vet etc. ONE MONTH into a 3 month lease, the horse came due for teeth, vaccinations everything - and I was obligated to pay - that was the other extreme IMO.

    Where on earth does Nes get the idea that paying for shoeing on a horse somehow over-rides a lease contract and implies ownership?



  8. #8
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    Do you realize all it takes is a scanner and a few vet/farrier bills in your own name an you can prove ownership of a horse?
    Writing up a SALES agreement would over-ride a lease agreement.


    If the OP has concerns they need to take it up with the leaser alone. Yes, you should be wondering why they aren't passing along bills they could have taken care of for free.

    I also don't understand the arrangement of this lease and IMHO the leaser should be paying all vet/farrier, but that was obviously not the agreement made.

    Agreements between two parties can be changed, that would give you a better legal standing. Why doesn't the OP suggest that? If their lessor would like to change the terms of their agreement?
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine



  9. #9
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    Feb. 14, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nes View Post
    Do they have a signed lease contract from you?
    With your signature on it?

    See where I'm going here...?


    No, have you talked to the leaser, stating that the original contract was that you pay for the bills and expressing your concerns?
    Why didn't they say something when the lease was made if they felt they should pay those bills?


    If you feel completely comfortable with the lease why are you even asking?
    If you're worried, then yes, trust your gut. Go get your horse.
    Yes, we both have copies of the contract. I have the original, she has a copy.

    And for the third time....yes, I DID speak to the leaser about it. A couple months in I sent them a quick note: "Hey, feel free to send me the farrier bills, it's in the contract that I pay for them!" and got the previous response.

    I am comfortable with the lease, love that he's being used and getting attention I don't currently have to give him, but like I mentioned in my first post it was a "Just out of curiosity..." question that popped into my head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kate66 View Post
    Are you crazy? :-) Do you have any more you would like to lease out and pay the costs on?

    You should be delighted. It's more the norm in a lease that the person leasing pays for the maintenance costs, not the original owner. If I was leasing a horse I would also expect to pay for shoeing and routine vet, I would feel very odd about the owner feeling obligated to pay for that.

    Where on earth does Nes get the idea that paying for shoeing on a horse somehow over-rides a lease contract and implies ownership?
    I actually have one more who could use the attention, but he's persnickety. I offered to pay the basic bills for this guy cause he had been out of work for a while and I felt bad about his leaser needing to get him back in shape. I didn't want anyone thinking I was looking to dump a horse on them.

    Don't get me wrong, I totally am delighted! Part of the reason I leased him out was to free up some funds. This was just a random question that had popped into my head. I printed out the email where the leaser explained why the bills weren't being forwarded and stuck it in the file with the contract, so I think that covers my hypothetical worst-case-scenario bases.



  10. #10
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    I've had a free lease and didn't pay for routine vet bills but paid not only for farrier and extra vet fees on the free leased horse, but the farrier and extra vet fees of the unused buddie horse that came with the free leased horse!

    It was a win win for both the owner of the two horses and myself. I don't think we had a written contract.

    I was happy to do it as a token payment of appreciation of the free lease.

    If you have it in writing, just enjoy the extra spending money over the holidays and don't worry about it.



  11. #11
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    If you are completely fine why are you asking?
    (rhetorical question)

    Printing out the emails can cover your hinney, but emails can be "faked".

    I guess at the end of the day, you have you ask yourself, realistically, if the horse was stolen by these people would it be the end of the world?
    (RHETORICAL)
    And then you live with what you can live with.

    I'm not kidding around about the vet/farrier bills thing.
    What would you do if you had to prove the ownership tomorrow of any animal you owned?

    Provide bills in your name, an original bill of sale, registration if you have it.
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine



  12. #12
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    I would maybe want to just amend the original lease agreement. I get was Nes is saying, but at the same time you could claim that about any horse that is leased out... In traditional leases we deal with, the leaser gets all the bills sent directly to them to pay, in their name. They are responsible for the animal just as if they owned it up until the lease is over. So it is not uncommon for someone leasing a horse to have the horse's vet and shoeing bills in their name and not the owner's. But like I said, I might just want to amend the contract.



  13. #13
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    It really comes down to trust. Do you trust the people you leased the horse out to?

    If yes, then I would be glad they were paying his vet/farrier bills.

    If no, then you have bigger problems and probably shouldn't have leased the horse out to them in the first place.

    Can you go visit the horse whenever you want? Why don't you pop by and see for yourself.

    They just sound like good people to me. Not everyone is a scammer.



  14. #14
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    You can always amend your lease to reflect the new payment arrangement if you want.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  15. #15
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    This sounds like a case of paranoia to me. Go check on your horse, if he appears to be doing well I would let it rest. If the leasor's can afford to pay for the farrier then I would let them do it. I can totally understand their train of thought.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog



  16. #16
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    If you are actually worried about someone forging a signature from a lease contract and making up a bill of sale for your horse, then you'd better never sign ANY contracts with anyone horse-related. And THAT would be about the stupidest method EVER of keeping your horse from being stolen.

    If asked to prove ownership of my horses, I would provide bills of sale, registration papers, and brand inspection certificates. If all you've got to go on are vet and farrier bills (or the absence thereof), you have bigger problems.

    If I were happy with the lessee and the horse's care, I would count myself lucky and move on (of course continuing to check on horse/lessee as usual).
    Proud member of the EDRF



  17. #17
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    Look, what kind of vibe to you get from these people?

    Are they friendly and open? You can come check out Horseling and find him looking good and happy? They speak well of him and describe him in ways that let you know that they like him and know the same horse that you do? The animal won't lie, so trust his judgement about his lessees.

    If that's all there, then remind them 1) they don't have to do this, but that you appreciate it; 2) if they want to change things up, just to get in touch.

    If you are really worried about it, speak with your farrier and see when he saw Dobbin last and how things looked to him.

    Or have your farrier, vet and BO send those bills to you while asking your lessee for a check each month. This is probably the cleanest way to do it and gives you some control/knowledge about what's going on each month.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  18. #18
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    Feb. 14, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by xQHDQ View Post

    They just sound like good people to me. Not everyone is a scammer.
    Quote Originally Posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
    You can always amend your lease to reflect the new payment arrangement if you want.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skyedragon View Post
    This sounds like a case of paranoia to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kementari View Post
    If I were happy with the lessee and the horse's care, I would count myself lucky and move on (of course continuing to check on horse/lessee as usual).
    ;
    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post

    If that's all there, then remind them 1) they don't have to do this, but that you appreciate it; 2) if they want to change things up, just to get in touch.
    Thanks guys for reassuring me that I'm just being my typical paranoid self! This guy means the absolute world to me, so I tend to launch into twitchy over-protective mom mode and freak myself out, usually after reading a horror story here on COTH!

    His lease mom is a fabulous person, and yes, I have a standing invite to knock on their door whenever I feel like it. I frequently get photo texts with "Lookit how cute Dobbin is today!" He is very well-cared for, and you're right, not everyone is out there to be a jerk.



  19. #19
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    It sounds to me like you are in good shape. You wrote a good contract, sounds like you picked a nice person, etc. If you are worried, go pop in for a visit. Sounds to me like the lease is going well and the people are paying the farrier bills in good faith.



  20. #20
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    Have you told the leasor the reason why you put that clause in the lease agreement? (to ensure that ownership rights are solely yours) Or does the leasor just think that the reason why you stated you would pay Vet/farrier bills is just you being friendly?

    Sometimes you need to come straight out and tell people WHY you did what you did instead of avoiding the topic altogether and then worry about ownership rights to your horse.

    Perhaps the leasor just needs a friendly ring (or you can go check up on your horse and discuss it with them.) Just tell them that it's nothing against them personally, but you have heard horror stories online, and "I'm sure you can understand."
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
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    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.



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