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Sticky situation - Advice please!

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  • Sticky situation - Advice please!

    I'm leasing a barn that was previously leased by another trainer (we'll just call him PITA because it fits). While PITA lost his lease due to a long trail of poor management (filthy barn, late payments, problems getting along with others, poor maintenance) that culminated in PITA himself telling the owners to go pound sand, PITA blames me for losing his lease.

    Unfortunately, PITA has a property right thanks to a poorly written set of CC&R's to board horses on the property whether or not he is the lessee. The property is owned by a HOA of which he is a member. PITA has announced that he intends to use that privilege to board 5 horses.

    PITA has been duly provided with board contracts, liability releases and information about what he owes. He has also been notified that he has a right to board, not to do business, at the barn. He does not respond to any correspondence whatsoever in any way.

    Based upon his past pattern of behavior (if I succeed in ridding myself of him, this will be barn #3 that he's been booted from in a five-square-mile area), I fully expect him to (a) not pay the board (b) ignore the barn rules and continue to operate his business (c) refuse to sign anything, whether it's a board contract or a liability release and (d) slander me and interfere with my business in every possible way, including creating such an uncomfortable atmosphere that it scares away business. He has already tried but within our discipline, people already know he's a nut case and have told me what was said and assured me they knew it was a lie.

    I do not want to feed five horses forever that I am not being paid for, but if he never signs a contract, how do I legally get him out? I am familiar with how to do a stableman's lien but only where there was a board contract. Can it be done?

    Anyone face a similar situation? How do you force someone to stop running a business out of your barn if they basically just take the attitude of "try to stop me?" I am wondering if I should just file a complaint immediately. The only blessing is that he has very little money to fight a lawsuit.

  • #2
    I'd require a board contract or face trespassing charges if he doesn't leave.


    • #3
      I would put his horses on pasture board... since he hasn't signed a contract. Tell him they can come back in as soon as he signs??


      • #4
        You're renting the barn but why does he have to board WITH you? Shouldn't he have his own board agreement with the owner (the HOA?) of the barn? So it would be his responsibility to feed the horses. "Board" can mean so many things - just stall, just stall and feed, training, etc.

        His agreement is with the HOA, not your business. As I see it, he has permission to 5 stalls - what he does with them is his problem. Your business is it's own entity and you do not have any agreement with him.

        Maybe talk to a lawyer now before he moves in.


        • #5
          I am thinking along the same lines as xqhdq. Your business is entirely different and seperate. You don't have really anything to do with their stuff unless it is in your lease.
          There business is HOA business, they are required to supply 5 stalls not you. Your lease entitles you to your lease. I would think if your lease says you have 10 stalls, then you have 10 stalls...if they don't have more to accomodate this person then they need to produce 5 more stalls either by building them, empty ones that you don't have claim on, or asking you to revamp your lease to try and help the HOA.

          But I am not a lawyer just my thinking out loud.


          • #6
            I'm thinkin you need to have a meeting with the HOA.
            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
              I'm thinkin you need to have a meeting with the HOA.
              of which he is a member...
              good ole boys club anyone?

              Can you schedual a HOA meeting where his Not there?
              the NOT!! Spoiled!! Arabian Protectavest poster pony lives on in my heart


              • #8
                Originally posted by macmtn View Post
                of which he is a member...
                good ole boys club anyone?

                Can you schedual a HOA meeting where his Not there?
                He may be a member, but if the rest of the association realize he is going to be a liability, financially and otherwise, I would expect him to be out voted.
                "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                • #9
                  Yes, I would probably start by discussing this with the HOA and seeing where they are at if you haven't yet. They might be as sick of him as you are...just because he's a member doesn't mean they all like him! My next step would be to consult with a lawyer. It will be expensive but probably cheaper than feeding 5 horses for whatever amount of time. You need to know exactly what you rights are, his rights are, and what you can do to protect yourself.

                  I don't know how his "property rights" translate into you having to feed his horses, though. If you're under no obligation to feed them then I wouldn't and would notify the authorities if he didn't feed them himself. It's harsh but 5 horses are expensive and you've got to protect yourself.
                  exploring the relationship between horse and human