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charging boarders for new footing?

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  • charging boarders for new footing?

    This may not be the appropriate venue for this thread, but I figured I'd reach more boarders here instead of the "around the farm" board.

    My barn's indoor arena is (and has been) in desperate need for new footing. Finally, all of the whining boarders have been doing for years have reached management's ears & they're looking into new footing.

    But we received notice today that they plan to charge each boarder an additional fee (additional to regular board, that is) to get an "assessment" of the arena & new footing if (and it will be) appropriate.

    Shouldn't this be classified as general property upkeep and included in board?? It's not like they didn't see this coming; the footing has been deteriorating for years, from what I've heard from other boarders (I haven't been there that long). There is nothing in the boarding agreement about "extra fees".

  • #2
    I do know of other barns that have charged an assessment to pay for new footing. I'm glad they didn't do it where I ride when they put down new TravelRight footing indoors.

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    • #3
      I agree, I think that new footing is part of property upkeep and should be part of the board.

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      • #4
        Personally I would consider it part of facility maintenance and upkeep but the reality is that unless the boarders chip in and agree to pay something toward the cost, it just may not get done.

        Most facilities I know of are just making ends meet these days, without much left over for a major initiative like new footing.
        **********
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
        -PaulaEdwina

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        • #5
          do you get to take your portion of the footing with you when you leave
          Carol and Princess Dewi

          **~Doccer'sDressage~**

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          • #6
            I have never heard of that, although I have been billed for stupider things in my board. However I would be putting up a stink if I had to pay that, like doccer said when I give my notice to leave I better be allowed to take my portion of the dirt with me when I leave.

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            • #7
              Unfortunately, what people pay in board can not cover long term wear and tear on facility. Cost of hay, help, rent/mortgage, insurance, tractors, taxes are hard enough to cover from boarding income. I feel with both sides. The up keep is astronomical-fencing, stall flooring,buckets,footing,etc. Being in the horse business for 20 years, I know it is hard to make it work. Most likely if boarders are not willing to chip in, it won't happen.

              Comment


              • #8
                New footing can be quite expensive, depending on how much and what kind they get. I think if they are simply replacing the existing footing with the same footing, then I would probably consider it "maintainence". However, if they are putting in a nicer footing then it would be a facility improvement which many barns charge for. I guess if the footing was horrible to begin with, even replacing the footing with the same type would probably be an "improvement".

                Hopefully the increase in board will be proportional to the increase in the facility. My barn is putting in an indoor arena, and I think we will be charging an extra $25 per month for existing clients and charging an extra $50 per month for any future clients. However, we have talked to our boarders and they are more than willing to pay an extra $25 a month for being able to ride indoors.

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                • #9
                  well i would ask them if you chip in for footing does your board stay the same.
                  i mean they are probably doing this so that they do not have to raise the board. would you rather pay 50 bucks a month extra forever or say a surcharge of 150.
                  but i would ask them? hey if we pay this are you going to keep the board down.
                  if the footing was bad and i liked where i boarded and they couldnt pay for new footing, i would gladly chip in and buy new footing.

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                  • #10
                    If replacing the footing with a better product (improving the substrate/base as well) I would either expect the board to go up, or to be assessed a fee.

                    Same as say, golf course improvements. The members usually get assessed.

                    JMO

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                    • #11
                      Am I reading it wrong- it sounds like they are charging you just to get the situation assessed???

                      I can understand why they would need boarders to pay for the new footing- but I think they are better off just increasing board and not making it about the new footing.

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                      • #12
                        THIS~~

                        Originally posted by doccer View Post
                        do you get to take your portion of the footing with you when you leave
                        This ~
                        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The boarders do end up paying for all facility improvements, one way or another. As several other posters have noted, even without a one time assessment... when facilities are upgraded, it's typical for the board to increase accordingly.

                          I know of one place around here that assessed each boarder $500 per horse when they installed new footing in the indoor, even though the various barns on the property were already leased out to several different trainers (ie, the farm owner charged a dry stall rate to other professionals, who each rented a barn or barns and ran their own separate programs out of them.)

                          To my knowledge, everyone just swallowed hard and paid the fee, knowing the alternative was either being asked to leave... or paying the fee in increments every month due to increased board. Forever.
                          **********
                          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                          -PaulaEdwina

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm assuming that the current board rate probably is appropriate for the quality of the facility "as is".... including the footing.... since everyone chose to board their horses there with the footing "as is", and if they could find better in that price range, they probably WOULD. So, if the boarders want an improvement on "as is", then they cannot be surprised if there is an additional cost added on. As another poster noted, this might be in the form of an additional one-time fee (say $500), or they could always raise the board $50.... forever.....! I'm going to guess that incoming boarders WILL be paying a higher board rate!

                            Jennifer
                            Third Charm Event Team

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                            • #15
                              I've not heard of that--is that somewhere in the boarding contract?

                              Mine have always said something like 30 days notice for a board increase, but I don't think I've seen anything about 1-time assessments covered.

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                              • #16
                                I would think it would make the most sense to increase the board price instead of charging a separate fee. It is reasonable for them to raise board since the facility will be of better quality now, unless of course they put in lesser quality footing but I doubt they would do that.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                  The boarders do end up paying for all facility improvements, one way or another. As several other posters have noted, even without a one time assessment... when facilities are upgraded, it's typical for the board to increase accordingly.
                                  If the footing is improved, boarders will pay, whether as an assessment or as a permanent board increase (or both). If the BO has to borrow money to have the footing replaced, the end cost is going to be higher for boarders. An assessment might be cheaper, but all boarders might not be able to afford a big, one-time shot. Maybe something in-between is an option -- a small assessment and a small increase in board?

                                  Obviously all boarders will benefit from improved footing but you'll have to do sort of a cost-beneift analysis of the situation to decide whether its' worth staying at that barn (and clearly, the BO will be doing an analysis to determine whether it's worth the investment).

                                  If I were on good terms with the BO, I'd have an honest conversation about this, maybe the boarders can work with the BO for a solution that works for all.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                    Personally I would consider it part of facility maintenance and upkeep but the reality is that unless the boarders chip in and agree to pay something toward the cost, it just may not get done.

                                    Most facilities I know of are just making ends meet these days, without much left over for a major initiative like new footing.
                                    This. We needed new footing this year and all ended up paying a board increase to get it. Nobody wanted to pay the increase, but it was the only way it was going to get done.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I was at a barn where the BO wanted the boarders to "chip in" for a new drag, we just laughed.
                                      Never did get the drag and the care was getting worse every month.
                                      People left and the barn went under.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by GiGi Larkin View Post
                                        I was at a barn where the BO wanted the boarders to "chip in" for a new drag, we just laughed.
                                        Never did get the drag and the care was getting worse every month.
                                        People left and the barn went under.
                                        I think that's a real risk. If I were asked for an assessment, and there was nothing about that in my contract, I'd be afraid that I'd be the only sucker to pay it and the upgrade wouldn't happen. With a board increase, you are presumably paying more to get more, and those who choose not to, leave.

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