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Landlord won't move horse,WWYD

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  • Landlord won't move horse,WWYD

    I have a situation,my husband was transferred,and because we could not sell our farm we decided to rent for a while in the new town.
    The owner of the farmette we are renting asked my husband if we would let her horse stay here,he said yes,but then when we discussed it he told her it would be okay for a month but we would not commit to it.
    Then he sent her an email before he signed the lease saying that the horse could only stay for a month.
    Now she is ignoring my phone calls,and she has not bought hay for the horse in over 2 weeks,[he still has grain she bought],I'm feeding him my hay.
    As anyone had anything like this ever happen to them[BTW,I have a saved copy of the email],and what did you do.
    Of course I don't want the horse to suffer,but I don't want another horse to take care of either,it is only 6 acres and I need his paddock.
    Please help!

  • #2
    Well--in the end it's her property, right? So most likely you can't make her move the horse.

    The fact that she's ignoring your phone calls IS a red flag.


    • #3
      Hmmm, toughie, I think if it were me and she would not return phone calls, I would figure out how much board would be, and deduct that from the next month rent. Just tell her you cannot keep it for free and you need the space for your horse, she either moves it or pays board, so you can pay board somewhere else for yours. You did lease the property from her, she should not be able to keep her horse there and not take care of it. So she left feed, what about the daily feeding of the horse, you are doing and you are basically "watching out for the horse" since it does not sound as if she has been around. I'm sure if she gets a reduced rent check, she will be calling Just a thought.


      • #4
        How long has the horse been there since you moved in? Has she had time to find another place?


        • #5
          Originally posted by LuvMyTB View Post
          Well--in the end it's her property, right? So most likely you can't make her move the horse.
          I don't think you can leave animals behind when you're renting out a property and expect the renter to care for them. That's abandonment. If it's not in the lease then it's gotta go. Is the renter supposed to watch the animal starve to death?

          I would tally up the money spent on it and put it into escrow taken out of the rent payment and let the owner know IN WRITING that this is being done.


          • #6
            Originally posted by chaltagor View Post
            I don't think you can leave animals behind when you're renting out a property and expect the renter to care for them. That's abandonment. If it's not in the lease then it's gotta go. Is the renter supposed to watch the animal starve to death?

            I would tally up the money spent on it and put it into escrow taken out of the rent payment and let the owner know IN WRITING that this is being done.
            That would be my opinion, too, but I am not a lawyer and tenant laws can vary a lot from state to state. I think my best recommendation would be to consult local legal resources. Many metropolitan areas have some sort of tenants' rights groups that will advise you for free.

            Years ago I had to put money into a property that was not mine (pipes burst so no water and the landlord didn't fix it for a week) and so went to the local university legal clinic and was advised to hire a plumber, deduct the amount from the rent, and send a registered letter to my landlord explaining what I was doing. He did actually attempt to go after me for the missing money (which amounted to about 3 months' rent ) and it was decided in my favor.

            Your situation is different obviously, but it isn't like you can just not feed the horse and I'm guessing "renter will provide feed and care for owner's horse" is not part of your lease. Your other option might be placing a lien on the horse and seizing/selling it. I could see this falling under a boarding type situation, but again, not a lawyer so I'm just throwing out ideas for you to look into.

            Sorry you're going through this. Definitely get educated on your rights as a tenant, and get everything in writing. If you do discuss something on the phone, write a letter summarizing the conversation along with the date and time it took place and send her a copy and keep one for yourself (in my case, I was advised to e-mail a copy to the landlord and cc myself and my lawyer so that it was documented that I sent it). I hope it will get resolved quickly and easily, but it's a good idea to protect yourself in case you do wind up getting stuck with a horse or a vindictive landlord or both.
            exploring the relationship between horse and human


            • #7
              Send a certified letter telling him you need him to move the horse by "x" date, (written very nicely), and that there is no hay left, so you will be deducting the hay from next month's rent.
              then when you pay rent and deduct it, send a note itemizing it, and an email that you keep to have proof that they were told.


              • #8
                You may be surprised to discover how many rights you have as a tenant. Your town hall may be able to send you in the right direction of help.

                It's great that you used e-mail to agree to the term of 1 month's stay. Print that out, bring it with your lease when you find the right expert.

                But in general, no, if you rented the place and feeding the landlord's horse was not mentioned as a condition, you aren't expected to even have it there, let alone spend money feeding it.

                When you rent a property, you are entitled to privacy and to using it as you see fit during the term of your lease. This is within reasonable limits but even those are specified in some cases (e.g. no smoking, no pets, must keep the place heated to a minimal temp in the winter so pipes don't break).

                Best of luck to you.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat


                • #9
                  DH and I had to go to "landlord court" today to collect rent from our kind but unfortunately "stretched" tenants.

                  Every state and every county/city has landlord/tenant laws and ways for you to settle such issues as this. Contact them and find out what your legal rights are in that local area - the laws truly vary from place to place!!

                  I like jetsmom's idea re: the letter/e-mail and itemized statement. I would consider this only after finding out the laws in your area, though.

                  I cannot imagine leaving our cats behind and expecting our tenants to just care for them! This is definitely abandonment in my mind, but it's what your state/county/city says that actually matters. I am so sorry this is happening to you.
                  Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
                  W. C. Fields


                  • #10
                    As everyone has said, you'd need to contact the relevant people to find out how the tenancy laws work in your area.

                    A couple of questions if I may; is this 6 acres of land specifically mentioned in your lease? If so, presumably it makes no mention of their horse being kept there? If not, then maybe you have a bit of an issue arising here.

                    6 acres is ample grassland to keep 2 horses on so I'm confused as to why you are feeding hay to their horse? Surely there is enough grass for it at this time of year? I know that is not the point, but this is, you surely can't claim for costs of feeding the horse hay if there is plenty grass in its field?

                    The owners of this farmette; do they live locally, close by? Do they come and check on the horse daily?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cloverbarley View Post

                      6 acres is ample grassland to keep 2 horses on so I'm confused as to why you are feeding hay to their horse? Surely there is enough grass for it at this time of year? I know that is not the point, but this is, you surely can't claim for costs of feeding the horse hay if there is plenty grass in its field?

                      Problem is: it isn't that horse's field. Every inch of grass on any given farm costs money to make, even if it is rented. The cost of food is the cost of food.
                      "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


                      • #12
                        I presume you have have written lease on the property. What does the lease say?

                        From your story it sounds like you made an oral, side agreement to permit the owner's horse to stay. Then you decided that you didn't want to do that and tried to re-open negotiations. The owner sounds like they are not interested in re-negotiating.

                        What agreement, if any, was made on feed? If the owner has a duty to provide their own feed then that's one thing. If you agreed to feed then that's another. If there's no agreement I would presume the owner of the animal is obligated to provide feed. If you end up feeding the horse then you might well have a lien on the animal for the value of the feed.

                        You can bring the matter to a head by withholding from the rent the amount you've spent to feed their horse. When they take you to court for unpaid rent (or try to evict you) you will have a good story to tell the judge. Make sure you have photos and receipts.

                        Of course how long is your lease? I'm guessing you'll be moving at the end of it.

                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks everybody for their replies,I will try to find some local resources that will let me know about tenant rights in this area.
                          The problem with withholding rent is that we paid them 6 months in advance,just so I wouldn't have to bother with writing checks every month,otherwise that would be a great idea.
                          Now it just seems like that was a very stupid thing to do!
                          It has just been so long since I have been a renter,I forgot about all the things that could go wrong.
                          Also to clarify,we made it clear before we signed the lease,both verbally and with the email that we would only let the horse stay for a month,and she agreed,and then we signed the lease.
                          I have my 3 horses in the pasture,and this horse stays in a paddock,that's why he needs hay,and he is an old horse,and my horse are young TBs,so I really can not turn him out in the pasture with them,he might get hurt.


                          • #14
                            Aside from the landlord basically sticking you with the horse to care for and feed, I would be a bit miffed that she just won't call you back---what if the fridge broke, or a tree fell on the house. Maybe you need to have an "emergency" that she has to attend to???


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Annie B View Post
                              The problem with withholding rent is that we paid them 6 months in advance,just so I wouldn't have to bother with writing checks every month,otherwise that would be a great idea.
                              No, the problem with paying rent you don't think you should pay is that it's illegal (or probably so in your case). Read your lease. It probably explains that you are responsible for rent (the entire year's total) no matter what.

                              Tenants and landlords get into disagreements about things all the time. The tenant decides to "fix it" by withholding what he thinks is a fair amount of rent. Landlords don't want tenants unilaterally deciding how much this and that are worth. That's why leases are written as they are.

                              But you *should* keep track of what you have spent on the horse from day 31 forward. Save your receipt or canceled check for the hay. You need to come up with a dollar figure.

                              You must negotiate the amount you will take off rent.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat


                              • #16
                                How long has the horse been there now?
                                I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                                Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


                                • Original Poster

                                  The horse has been here for 3 months,I really don't care about the money I am spending for hay,I just want them to take their horse.
                                  There is only one paddock,[and a pasture]and I have to keep him in there because I am afraid my horses would hurt him[he is old,and my horses are young TBs],but I rented this place because I wanted a place with a separate paddock .
                                  One of my horses is food aggressive,so when it comes time to start feeding my horses hay,she must be put in her own paddock,so she doesn't fight with the other 2.
                                  So keeping him here is not an option,for me,even if they pay for hay.


                                  • #18
                                    Using hot wire tape, solar hotbox and plastic push in the ground poles, create a new pasture where her horse can be separated from the others while all can now get grass.
                                    Now in Kentucky


                                    • #19
                                      You are 3 months into renting this place. In the next 3 months (when you rent check is due) if the horse is still there I would send yet another email telling the owner that you are breaking lease and leaving the property so you better come and care for your horse or I am calling the authorities.

                                      And, I would get the hell outta there. Seriously, the old horse was not a package deal with renting the place. Either that or take action call the authorities now for the horse, find out what your rights are as the renter and go forward with it.

                                      The owner obviously does not care about you or your husband ANYTHING could be going wrong with your rented place and the owner could care less. Yep careless about you, her farmette, her horse! Not someone to do business with IMHO.


                                      • #20
                                        Have you called anyone or done anything about this situation today? It's been two days since you posted, you've received some excellent advice to solve your dilemma and I'm hoping you've at least begun whatever process your local government requires to deal with your landlord and her "forgotten" horse.

                                        And like another poster was saying, I hope you are preparing to move very soon, as I do not think this is the kind of place you want to be living this winter when things like pipes burst or the heat goes out...your landlord has shown her true colors, and I hope you are not planning on accepting this nonsense with her refusing to communicate with you - that's just rude and unacceptable!
                                        Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
                                        W. C. Fields