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  1. #1
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    Nov. 26, 2012
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    Default Dumped with fees unpaid by lessee

    Anyone ever been dumped with fees from a lessee. Without all of the details, lessee leased horse, was late on paying just about everything. Horse had work done the very last day of their lease in order for the horse to be returned in its original condition. Now they have told the vets office that it is not their responsibility and that we came to "a mutual agreement that I would be paying those fees" which was never discussed and I would not agree to. Opinions?



  2. #2
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    What does your lease contract say? I would refer to that first thing, perhaps bring it to a lawyer to see what they say about the situation. If you can get your money back, I say pay the fees (if possible) and then send them a bill.
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  3. #3
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    Do you have a written agreement? If so, I would file a small claim to get reimbursements for the costs that lessee was supposed to pay under the agreement.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  4. #4
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    Was there a contract involved with the lease? Is there any language in the contract about payments for services rendered while the horse was under contract with the lessee?

    The leaser might have a legal leg to stand on if so (assuming it would be financially feasible to go to court with it and not just absorb the hit as a learning experience).



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superminion View Post
    What does your lease contract say? I would refer to that first thing, perhaps bring it to a lawyer to see what they say about the situation. If you can get your money back, I say pay the fees (if possible) and then send them a bill.
    I'm just avoiding involving lawyers if possible. I feel that gets so messy and i'd like to maintain a positive relationship with these people although they are no longer leasing my horse. Also I feel it just adds to a bad rep, might be necessary though I suppose.



  6. #6
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    I have a contract which I foresee them somehow wiggling out of due to some missing parts and not properly worded information.

    However I do have e-mail where lessee agrees to pay these fees as well as text messages.



  7. #7
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    I would not leave the vet hanging unpaid and then I would go after them for repayment.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldcoast View Post
    I feel that gets so messy and i'd like to maintain a positive relationship with these people although they are no longer leasing my horse. Also I feel it just adds to a bad rep, might be necessary though I suppose.
    Did any of these people use any of your people to tend to the horse? What I mean is did they use the same vet, farrier, chiro, whatever else, as you? My loyalties would be with the professional care providers since establishing a good relationship with them would be the most beneficial for you and your horse. If the lessee screwed them, try to smooth that over.

    If they still flat out refuse to pay their bills if your contract does have something outlined in it for paying for services, you might have to lawyer up on them. No one is going to give you a bad rap if you're fully within your rights and the black cloud hanging over the situation has put you on bad grounds with your horse care professionals.


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  9. #9
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    Nov. 26, 2012
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    Very true, yes it is a new vet that I started using with them. A great one at that who really did help the horse out. Sticky situation is when they gave notice to end the lease, they said horse was still fully insured. I received a letter a few weeks ago stating the insurance was cancelled. Wish I would have known this so I could have purchased insurance on the horse after. Vet bill totals near 2k.



  10. #10
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    I understand not wanting to involve lawyers. I personally would not want to remain friendly with people who dump over 2k of unpaid bills on me, but that's just me. I agree that your first priority would be to pay horse care professionals involved. You can sort out repayment from there.

    I don't think that you are going to be able to keep your relationship sound with these folks, unless they are willing to pay you back in a timely manner, with no fuss.
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
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    8 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    Small claims generally do not require the services of a lawyer. You should send a "demand" letter first. Send copies of whatever documents in which they agreed to pay (email, contract, etc.) along with copies of the bills and paid receipts. And in a cover letter you demand that they reimburse you. You might mention that you will go to small claims court if you are not reimbursed. You might also mention that they will not get a good reference from you should they need one to lease another horse some day.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  12. #12
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    Jun. 7, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldcoast View Post
    Anyone ever been dumped with fees from a lessee. Without all of the details, lessee leased horse, was late on paying just about everything. Horse had work done the very last day of their lease in order for the horse to be returned in its original condition. Now they have told the vets office that it is not their responsibility and that we came to "a mutual agreement that I would be paying those fees" which was never discussed and I would not agree to. Opinions?
    Unless you signed some sort of agreement with the vet, the contract is between the vet and the lessee.


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  13. #13
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    Apr. 2, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldcoast View Post
    I'm just avoiding involving lawyers if possible. I feel that gets so messy and i'd like to maintain a positive relationship with these people although they are no longer leasing my horse. Also I feel it just adds to a bad rep, might be necessary though I suppose.
    If they dumped you with a bunch of fees this time, why would you want to be involved with them again? I'm not saying go bad mouth to everyone you know, but I would more concerned with getting your money if I were you.

    Plus if you work with them again, they'll know they can get away with things like this and you won't go after them.
    Currently blogging for Chronicle of the Horse. Articles can be found here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/category...ryan-lefkowitz


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  14. #14
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    Nov. 26, 2012
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    I guess the only viewpoint I have on why they'd fight this is the fact that this work was done the very last day of the lease. I don't think that's acceptable though but I think you are all right, paying the vet to remain in good standing then billing the old lessee.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldcoast View Post
    I guess the only viewpoint I have on why they'd fight this is the fact that this work was done the very last day of the lease. I don't think that's acceptable though but I think you are all right, paying the vet to remain in good standing then billing the old lessee.
    I would think that paying the vet runs the risk of you "admitting" it's an acceptable bill.

    Instead I would tell the vet, listen, so sorry, but I am not the person you should be billing here. If you would like me to help you establish your case for collections against the other party, I would be happy to provide any of the contracts and written agreements regarding payment of veterinary bills for this horse during the time period of the lease.


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  16. #16
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    Nov. 14, 2012
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    BC
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    This has happened with me. Mare was out on a free lease while I was at my first year of Uni with a contract stating she needs to be shod by a certain farrier every 6 weeks, kept at a certain barn where the leaser signed the boarding agreement, and treated by the same vet all which was to be paid by the leaser. Also included a worming program that I supplied.

    None of that happened. I had calls constantly that she was behind on board, didn't get the mares feet done and wasn't deworming at all even though I provided it. Oh and she had stopped riding her on a regular basis which was the whole reason I wanted her to be leased. If I knew this was all going to happen I would have thrown her out on pasture board and then had her restarted a month before finishing. It was a nightmare.

    I ended up getting the leaser to write the barn post-dated cheques and I scheduled and paid for all remaining farrier appointments just to insure she actually got her feet done. No lawyers but if it had gotten any worse I would have considered it.

    Hopefully you don't have to get lawyers involved but sometimes the threat of involving one scares people into paying up. In the mean time I would let the vet know that they are responsible as the horse was in their care at the time of treatment.


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  17. #17
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    Dec. 20, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    I would think that paying the vet runs the risk of you "admitting" it's an acceptable bill.

    Instead I would tell the vet, listen, so sorry, but I am not the person you should be billing here. If you would like me to help you establish your case for collections against the other party, I would be happy to provide any of the contracts and written agreements regarding payment of veterinary bills for this horse during the time period of the lease.
    THIS!!! You paying the lessee's bill should be the very last resort. Working with the vet to make sure the bills are directed at the right person with the paperwork to back it up is the best way to go about it.


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  18. #18
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    Feb. 1, 2001
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    I would:

    Send the now-former lessee a clearly worded letter outlining their failure to abide by your agreement(s) and indicating to them that you would prefer to resolve the matter amicably, but are willing to involve attorneys if necessary. I would include in the letter some mention of the statement made to the vet, and indicate that "per our email exchange of x date," you expect and require that they pay the bill promptly as they agreed to.

    I would explain to the vet that you are very surprised to hear that the lessee's story, since you have a written agreement (perhaps "as of x date") in which they agree to be responsible for any fees, but that you will certainly not allow him to be left hanging with an unpaid bill if it comes to that. No need to go into further details at this point, since the dispute is really between you and the lessee.
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  19. #19
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    Jul. 25, 2003
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    Default

    I can understand that you don't want to leave the vet hanging, but I think it's a mistake to pay the fees yourself and then hope to collect from the lessee.

    The contract for services is between the vet and the lessee. They can send a collections agent after her if they can't get satisfaction. It's going to be trickier for you to collect the money once you've paid it out. I also agree that if you pay the bill it appears that you have admitted it is legit.

    If I went to my vet and explained the situation, I think they'd understand why I wanted them to bill the lessee, especially if I had documentation that showed they were supposed to pay.

    What does your lease agreement say about insurance? If they stopped insuring the horse AND are trying to stick you with vet bills that they should have paid, I think that you have grounds to come after them for breach of contract.

    I am not suggesting that you sue them but often a letter from a lawyer can go a long way toward resolving an issue like this. As others have said, perhaps a clearly worded email along with a copy of your contract/emails with relevant points highlighted might be a good place to start but an attorney won't charge you much to write a letter and if there's a $2K vet bill out there, it would be well worth the investment.

    Good luck!
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  20. #20
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    Jan. 4, 2012
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    Default

    Next time you write an agreement for anything, be sure to include absolutely everything, whether it's a stranger or your best friend signing the paper. Especially with everything regarding payments. You can never be too careful when it comes to safeguarding your funds. This could have been easily avoided.

    And it sounds like this former lessee should be at the bottom of your "make friends with" list. If they are breaching the contract, do exactly what you stated you would do, in the contract.



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