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Leasing out extra barn on property

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  • Leasing out extra barn on property

    I am looking at purchasing a 10 acre property that has 2 barns on it with a total of 14 stalls. I have been looking at properties for the last 5 years or so, and this is by far the best property I have found in my price range. I only need 2-3 stalls for my horses.

    I am exploring the idea of leasing out one of the barns on the property to a trainer at a monthly rate. I don't need to lease the barn, but the extra income would certainly help maintain and upgrade the property. I also work full time, and it would be nice to have somebody around during the day to keep an eye on my horses. I am not interested in getting into the boarding business.

    I would be looking to lease out 10 stalls plus feed room, tackroom, and trainer's office. There is an indoor washrack that would be shared. The property only has an outdoor arena , but there is ~7 acres of fenced/cross fenced grass pasture. I would provide pasture management (mowing/seeding), management of compost pile, and drag the arena 2x/week.

    Are 10 stalls enough to attract a good trainer? I don't care what discipline, but would like the person to be professional and have good horsemanship skills.

    Any idea what rate can I expect (realize this varies a lot)? I am located about an hour outside of Seattle. Full board rates are generally between $350-550, and training prices $400-600.
    Last edited by Sister7; May. 24, 2012, 05:06 PM. Reason: needed some paragraph breaks!

  • #2
    It's certainly possible, I rode with two trainers that leased space from someone else. One of them leased at three different locations whle I knew her!
    Be aware that you will be a landlord and you will be in the boarding business. If you aren't able to segregate the trainer's operation from "your" space you may have conflicts. That's what happened with the one trainer. Her lesson program was busy, and she did camps. Camper parents can be absolutely clueless and because the parking area was pretty free form the property owner more than once wasn't able to get his tractor out or hook up to his trailer or conduct his activities wthout obstruction.
    The other trainer was making up horses for resale and had exclusive use of the back barn, IIRC she had tried to sublease part of a barn before and it didn't work out, the owner of that property wasn't deep down truly interested in not having exclusive use of her facility.

    So it's a great idea in theory and can work out great, or not.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    • #3
      Don't forget to figure in your costs that you will have to carry commercial insurance, not residential even if you are not managing the leased barn.

      Such deals can work with the right, respectful people and clear rules, or can be a nightmare if everyone is not on the same wavelength.

      I think starting to look around and hear what others in that area tell you would be better than hoping you luck out on someone nice to live with.


      • #4
        You will have to carry commercial ins and you need to require that whomever rents out the other barn carries their own commercial ins with you listed as covered on their policy------------and you must get a copy of said ins coverage with your name on it-----for your records. Make sure all the details are in writing-----------what's included (mowing, arena work, etc., who repairs the broken fencing, etc. Is there a separate electric meter for the 2nd barn? If not, you should maybe check into having one put in. Just think this through thoroughly. As said earlier it can be great situation or not. Research thoroughly whomever wants to rent it.


        • #5
          I was told to make sure that the lease has a 30 day break clause so if it goes south you can get them out quickly.

          I'd expect more of the "wrong" people would be looking to rent, the ones that go from barn to barn leaving unhappy people in their wake. The good ones, the ones that are responsible and happy tend to work out wherever they are and so they don't need to move.

          It can be done, but I'd tread carefully!
          Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/


          • #6
            It might not be worth it. Our full board is 900 and the tenant pays 250 per stall so at that ratio - rough math here - you might get between 100 and 165 per stall so not a huge difference in the grand scheme of things and a HUGE impact on your property. If you could get more money per stall, I would think about it, but to me, I would prefer the privacy and no wear, tear and interruption for the small amount of money it might generate.


            • #7
              There are a lot of points to consider. Obviously insurance is important.

              Also, when you rent out a barn, it could potentially have a very negative impact on your privacy and security. For example, the trainer might have clients who are coming out to ride and visit their horses, and those clients will invariably bring guests. It has been my experience that some people really like to make themselves at home when visiting someone else's farm--petting/treating horses, checking out the tack room, leaving a mess in the bathroom, driving on the lawn in wet weather and leaving huge ruts, leaving doors & gates open, etc. As the property owner, you could ultimately have a lot of increased wear and tear on the property, a lot of increased hassle, and some increased liability.

              If you found the right person it might work out great, but you could also be opening yourself up to a lot of stress. I'd make sure you have a contract with a lot of specifics, including parking, guest policy, safety rules, ring use, etc.


              • #8
                You indicated the property only has one outdoor arena, no indoor, and--with up to 14 horses and 7 acres--really no place to ride outside the arena? A couple more considerations: How often is the weather going to put off riding? IME, a lot of boarders expect an indoor arena in many parts of the country. Not having one could make it harder for a renter to fill your barn, and a lot harder to attract a *good* renter. Does the arena have lights? If not, it gets much, much less attractive. Second, one arena and up to 14horses sounds like a lot of potential traffic jams if someone is giving lessons and other people want to ride. (Ditto one wash stall.) I'm sure it could be worked around but, again, is not something that's going to be an attractive feature.

                The other thing I'll point out, as it bears repeating, is that you're opening yourself up to a LOT of people wandering around your home. IME, some members of the public have a small problem with boundaries. Like, walk into your house to use the bathroom-type boundaries. (Speaking of, you didn't mention what you had set up along those lines for boarders.) A good renter will be on top of it and do a lot to limit--not completely curb--the annoyance. A bad one, well... So make sure you're prepared to lock your tack and trailer, frequently check your horses, and do a very late night barn check to turn off lights, shut off water, etc. And, if you think you can fix all that with rules restricting barn hours, etc., just do a search here for the many "My BO is a jerk and won't let me visit my horse 24/7!" threads and consider how, again, it would impact filling your barn with the 'right' people.


                • #9
                  A lot of good advice has been given here. I am in the process of buying a farm and am also looking to lease out one of the barns. Good insurance, a detailed contract and finding the right tenant is key. It's just like renting anything else out, a great tenant is a blessing, a bad one is a nightmare.


                  • #10
                    Around here, Unionville PA, barns rent for around $150 to over $300 per stall. Even on the lower end it will have a good outdoor and most likely an indoor also. In the $250 range generally it will get both and a fair bit of property, up to around 50 acres. It all comes down to infrastructure, property, setting, off property ride-ability, address, etc.