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Boarder sneaking out without paying

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  • Boarder sneaking out without paying

    I have caught wind that one of my boarders may be tyring to sneak her horse out of the stable. She has not paid for September yet and I have been asking her for the board money. Her latest text is that she doesn't know when she can pay it.

    I have changed all locks on the farm gate, tackroom etc. I think the lein laws for this state are 60 days, but not sure, I couldn't find it in the statutes. The statutes allow for a stableman's lein. I tried calling the county clerk but they are already closed.

    I am getting ready to go out of town and will be away from the farm for a couple of days. If she doesn't try to move prior to my vacation weekend, I am sure she will do it while I am away.

    I have come to find out that said customer owes the vet over $700 in bills, and moved out of an apartment complex with no notice....just left and broke lease. She has established a pattern.

    I am trying to find a way to make sure she does not leave without paying me. her TB is a big eater that costs me a lot of overhead.

    The place she is moving to is down the road (walking distance) and is run by an ex boarder of mine that I kicked out 5 years ago for stealing hay and grain. This ex boarder down the road is a paralegal who serves papers for a living and knows the system all to well, so if I lock up the horse/tack etc. I am sure she will advise my boarder on how to get around it if there is a way to do so.

    Just looking for thoughts, advice, anyone familiar with FL statues? I can't afford to take a hit right now, just put down a big expenditure and can't take a hit unless I fill a couple more stalls right now.

  • #2
    This is internet advice, so take with a large grain of salt. I'd be inclined to take her saddle and hold it until she pays. Yes, your board contract probably doesn't say you can do that, but what is she going to do? Sue you?

    Either that, or just write it off to experience. It sounds like she and the barn where she's going deserve each other.

    Alternatively what does your board contract say?
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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
      This is internet advice, so take with a large grain of salt. I'd be inclined to take her saddle and hold it until she pays. Yes, your board contract probably doesn't say you can do that, but what is she going to do? Sue you?

      Either that, or just write it off to experience. It sounds like she and the barn where she's going deserve each other.

      Alternatively what does your board contract say?
      Contract says 60 days non payment will start a lein process.

      The new barn she is going to just recently seized someone's horse from them by locking them out for supposed non-payment. I fear that the new barn will coach her along (since they are paralegals) on how to get around being locked out.

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      • #4
        Ouch. That sucks. In my very uneducated and completely sans legal advice opinion, I'd probably try to cancel the trip out of town to keep an eye on things and (hopefully) prevent her from bailing if at all possible. Then if you catch her trying to sneak out call the law and see where it goes from there?

        Sometimes it's downright freaky how fast a "broke" person can come up with the dough they owe you if you don't give them the chance to screw you over.

        Sounds like she'll be in good company at her new barn.

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        • #5
          sent you PM

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          • #6
            Consider seriously whether you really want to keep her from taking the horse. If she doesn't have the money to pay and continually disappears without paying, it makes more sense to get her out of there now and stop the expense of feed, hay and shavings for her horse, rather than let the bills continue to add up. Alternatively tell her that you know she is planning on moving her horse with no notice, you'll let her out of her contract if she'll pay up to the date of her move (cash before the horse is released).

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            • #7
              i don't know what your contract says. Mine states that my tack can be seized and sold to recover any money. ( but that rarely happens b/c usually a boarder leaves in a sneaky way and BO can't get to said tack. Good luck, i know this sucks.

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              • #8
                Consult a lawyer. If your contract says you have to wait 60 days to start a lein, your best bet may be to get her out ASAP and file for the back-due board in small claims court.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Woodsperson View Post
                  Consider seriously whether you really want to keep her from taking the horse. If she doesn't have the money to pay and continually disappears without paying, it makes more sense to get her out of there now and stop the expense of feed, hay and shavings for her horse, rather than let the bills continue to add up. Alternatively tell her that you know she is planning on moving her horse with no notice, you'll let her out of her contract if she'll pay up to the date of her move (cash before the horse is released).
                  This is what I would do. Right now you're out the better part of a month. If she really, really can't pay, do you want to prolong the care for the big eating TB? I would work it out to recoup as much as you can.
                  Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Woodsperson View Post
                    Consider seriously whether you really want to keep her from taking the horse. If she doesn't have the money to pay and continually disappears without paying, it makes more sense to get her out of there now and stop the expense of feed, hay and shavings for her horse, rather than let the bills continue to add up. Alternatively tell her that you know she is planning on moving her horse with no notice, you'll let her out of her contract if she'll pay up to the date of her move (cash before the horse is released).
                    THIS>
                    If you hold the horse and she can't pay, you are going to incur a LOT of board bills during litigation that she most likely won't ever be able to pay.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Woodsperson View Post
                      Consider seriously whether you really want to keep her from taking the horse. If she doesn't have the money to pay and continually disappears without paying, it makes more sense to get her out of there now and stop the expense of feed, hay and shavings for her horse, rather than let the bills continue to add up. Alternatively tell her that you know she is planning on moving her horse with no notice, you'll let her out of her contract if she'll pay up to the date of her move (cash before the horse is released).
                      Welp, just add me to this. So far, you're only out part of Sept?? That's cheap experience in my book. But, you may find this happening more and more. If someone is really in a tight spot, they are bailing no matter what. Can you get blood from a turnip??
                      GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

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                      • #12
                        The new place is within walking distance? I'd walk the horse over there personally.

                        With a bow on it.
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                        • #13
                          HA HA HA tm. I like the way you think.

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                          • #14
                            I also agree you should let the horse go. I would talk to her about it, and try to have her and the horse be gone before you go away, or you don't go away. The sooner the horse leaves, the less you are out, and by letting her know you know she is leaving, it takes some of the wind out of her sails and she is more likely to be honest (sometimes dishonesty becomes a game for same people)

                            If it is legal to do so, hold some tack of the same value that is resellable. I would also make sure to document what easily taken tack and equipment (maybe feed?) you have on sight in case she decides to be vengeful.
                            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by goneriding24 View Post
                              Welp, just add me to this. So far, you're only out part of Sept?? That's cheap experience in my book. But, you may find this happening more and more. If someone is really in a tight spot, they are bailing no matter what. Can you get blood from a turnip??
                              Agreed. I have ZIP legal experience/knowledge, but this is what I'd do. Get the headache out of your hair now and go enjoy your vacation.

                              It slightly freaks me out how apparently easy it is to sneak horses out of boarding situations....
                              "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                              "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

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                              • #16
                                Can you send a text/ email/ letter and say you heard she was planning to leave, and remind her that your contract requires a 30 day notice (if it does) and that if he leaves without it she will owe back board plus 30 days notice from move out date? Send an email an follow up with a certified letter.

                                Start covering your butt now. But let her leave. Better to lose what you have now than lose more. Go after her in small claims court after horse is no longer on your feed bill.

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                                • #17
                                  If it were me, personally, I'd make sure she is out before you leave on vacation. Then you can enjoy your trip without worrying about what is going on at home. You should then be able to take her to small claims court over the amount of board owed.
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by tm View Post
                                    The new place is within walking distance? I'd walk the horse over there personally.

                                    With a bow on it.
                                    This. Then you are only out a couple of weeks of board. Each day you keep him, you are going further into the hole. Then you could go on your holiday without worrying she will sneak out.

                                    Plus - I can only imagine how satisfying this would be.

                                    Aside, from being out the two weeks of food and board, is there a downside?

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                                    • #19
                                      get her gone before she abandons her horse with you.
                                      and keep the tack until she settles up.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Shhhhh...I'm An Alter View Post

                                        Just looking for thoughts, advice, anyone familiar with FL statues? I can't afford to take a hit right now, just put down a big expenditure and can't take a hit unless I fill a couple more stalls right now.
                                        Do you consider the boarder moving her horse without paying for September a "hit" or losing another boarder a "hit"? Unfortunately, you'd be better off getting her off your property ASAP (to end the feed costs for her horse) and then file against her in small claims. If you try and keep her there, you will be spending even more money to feed/house the horse while trying to recoup board owed. And, the whole thing will probably end up in small claims eventually anyway except instead of owing you 18 days board, she'll owe you double or triple that. Good luck.
                                        JB-Infinity Farm
                                        www.infinitehorses.com

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