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Leasing out my barn, in my backyard

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  • #21
    With a facility this small by the time you cover expenses (insurance, maintenance, etc.) you'll lose money.

    And I'm not sure you really want somebody, literally, in your back yard at times of their choosing!

    Find something else. Your chances of "winning" here are very small.

    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by Chall View Post
      Pay up front and in advance, maybe 6 months. It's a lease not a month to month boarding situation, yes on the insurance and if there is anyway to separate the parking from your parking do that, rope it off. Is there a bathroom in the barn, running water?
      If you could find a really big barn in the area (who would not consider you competition) go speak to the owner there. If your lucky, they will be sympathetic and give the ins and outs for your area. If you are really lucky, you might suggest your barn as a layup barn for overflows of the big barn or for horses who need a quiet rehab, but keep it clear that it must be run by them.
      I think that would be best, because this is a big project.
      WOW! More good stuff I didn't think about! No bathroom, since I would just go into my house. I've never boarded here and don't want to, but I sure never thought about a bathroom!


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
        Write your contract carefully. Be sure to list the maximum number of horses to be kept at ANY time. Address damages versus normal wear and tear. Think about utilities? Is your barn separately metered? If not, how are you going to split electric? Ditto water if it is not from a well. If you don't have bathroom in the barn, then stipulate that the tenant MUST rent and maintain a porta-potty. Address emergency situations -- what are you to do if nobody can be found and it's an emergency? Insist on a hefty security deposit and make sure the tenant keeps current on rent. Insist that the tenant carry liability insurance as well.

        Most of all, be picky about who you take. Check references carefully.

        I think for the right party, this could be a wonderful situation. It's a real bonus to have a horse person living on the property 24/7 to keep an eye on things. I know the OP doesn't want extra work, but just knowing there is back-up to feed if there is an emergency at home or a big snowstorm makes the rental attractive.
        Sheesh, I must not have thought about much of anything! Yet MORE things I didn't think about! Thanks for the help!


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
          PM me your email and I'll send you my Self-Care Contract. It covers all bases, including rules.
          PM sent with many thanks!


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
            Not sure where you live, but who will mow the pasture? Maintain the fence? Fix stuff in the barn if it gets damaged? Plow snow if needed? How will you rotate if you have 3 horses on that small of a place? What are your rules about guests on the property? Hours?

            I think that if you're patient, you can find the right person. But another consideration going into winter is that it's harder to get hay in a lot of places this time of year. I always had all my hay lined up by the end of July. It can be difficult to find and difficult to transport depending on your area this time of year.
            OK, I had to laugh! Here in the desert, NO grass and NO snow! Hay is important, and I, like you, buy mine in plenty of time and stock up. End of the year into the beginning of the next SUCKS for buying hay!


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by clanter View Post
              ...we did sort of what you are going to do.

              We set the farm up as an independent corporation which then leased the land and improvements back from us to use as a for profit boarding barn.

              We did this specifically as a level of insulation as this was before the Professional Equine Liability Acts were put in place.


              There also were tax reasons as to why we did this. By the farm being a for profit activity, the improvements were put on a deprecation schedule, the farm had its own income from the boarding of the horses which allowed the farm to pay the workers. Since the farm was a C-Corp it could award scholarships.

              I just advise you to consult with a tax attorney versed in farm/ranch tax law. In our case we owned the land, the farm was a privately held C-Corporation and the stock that was boarded was owned by our business which was a S-Corp.
              WHOA! Yet more things I never considered!


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by nashfad View Post
                Possibly delivering pizza 3 nights a wk is better?
                OK, you got me to do quite a huge belly laugh!


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by betsyk View Post
                  Are you in a horsey area? maybe start with your neighbors - does anybody need an extra stall or two for winter? heck, maybe you could rent the building for hay storage and skip having animals there at all. Store trailers in your paddocks? If your neighbors are already in the habit of taking care of their own horses, maybe someone would jump at the chance to have an extra stall or two available just down the road? and being in the neighborhood and a "known" quantity maybe they'd be more invested in taking care of things?
                  I live in a horsey area where everyone's property is horse property. Many people board or train in their back yards on their 1.25 acres. You had some really, really good ideas! Thanks!


                  • Original Poster

                    I must say, you guys are the greatest! Really opened my eyes to soooooo, soooooo much! Thanks - all of your advice was invaluable!


                    • #30
                      I agree with Guilherme that your chances of success in this venture are low. There are so many opportunities for things to go wrong, and when they do they are going to be going wrong two feet from your house. Do not underestimate the ability of other people to do strange, dangerous, irresponsible and downright crazy things.

                      While you MIGHT make a little money from doing this, you will have a increased insurance costs, increased maintenance costs, potentially a lot of wear and tear on your property, lawyer fees to draw up contracts (do not ignore this step!) and potentially a LOT of stress. These are significant costs. You are also opened up to possibly suffer large losses like dealing with fully/partly abandoned horses, legal bills related to dealing with a problem tenant, serious property damage due to do irresponsible tenants, and potential liability/lawsuits. Being a good landlord is work.

                      I agree that finding a neighbor who wants to quietly rent a little more space is your best bet.


                      • #31
                        You want to rent stalls that are only feet away from your house, but leave it to the boarders to feed and clean?

                        What if they don't clean?
                        A helmet saved my life.

                        2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


                        • #32
                          This will likely be hugely unpopular...but having been on the other side of such deals without a lot of vetting and deposits and contracts and the like...it worked out fine. I mean, I know things can go south. I get that. But I was a really good farm lease person. I kept up the land, I took care of my horses, I took care of land lady's dog when she went out of town. Hell, I had the state patrol track her butt down several counties away when she didn't come home when she said she would one summer. She scared me silly! Then laughed at me with the deputies on the phone. Years later after my horses were long gone from her place....I still found reasons to "drop by" and plow her drive, mow, check in on her at the hospital, buy her "emergency" ice cream. (yes, such emergencies exist!) She came to my wedding. She had Christmas dinner at my home last year...which reminds me, I still have her plate. I love her dearly, she's a great lady, and she gave me a chance, no strings attached, to take care of my horses and use her place.

                          Probably stupid on her part if you look at all the stuff we've posted here. But truthfully...I wasn't out to screw her, she wasn't out to screw me, and we were on the same page (most of the time, LOL!) I think good situations can be there without a lot of hoop jumping, though I'm not advising you to take unecessary risks. But I was a horse person, she was a horse person, and we interviewed each other. It worked out.
                          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                          Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                          • Original Poster

                            I am going to look into the storage idea. I really like it. Thanks again, everyone - you all are terrific!


                            • #34
                              Everything everyone says is excellent advice. Not to be a downer, but one thing you have to consider is human nature. No matter how pleasant, close to you, honorable, cooperative, reliable, even-tempered, etc. a boarder is, shit just happens. Say the 3 boarders are your best friends. Two gossip about one, everyone comes to you for sympathy and resolution. One boarder has an emergency out of town, and asks you to feed "just for a day ot two." Somebody loses their job. Who will pick up the slack? If the property is yours, I'm sorry, but the buck stops with you. Yours is the ultimate responsibility and risk. And they are THERE. All the time, in your face. It's hard to say "no, I'm in a foul mood today and don't want to talk to you, even though your battery doesn't start, your husband is cheating on you, your child has an incurable disease, your horse is bleeding, etc." I've done it. It's rarely a happy ending for anyone. So, sorry again for being Debbie Downer."


                              • #35
                                This is how I have my own place. I pay board for two stalls, and a pasture. I have to go into the landlords house to use the bathtub when the spigot freezes. So it's REALLY in the back yard. I provide everything, and when the landlord is feeling generous/sick of the pony escaping, she will replace the bad fence boards. (Cheapest lady. EVER.)

                                This on about an acre, and the pasture takes most of it. If I want more grass, I have to pay for the seed/fertilizers, etc. I pay $150/month for the horse and pony.
                                "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by JumpQH View Post
                                  OK, I had to laugh! Here in the desert, NO grass and NO snow! Hay is important, and I, like you, buy mine in plenty of time and stock up. End of the year into the beginning of the next SUCKS for buying hay!
                                  More logistics. You know, since you've had horses *and* had them on that property, when and what needs done. Realize that someone renting it from you is A. not going to know where/when/how to get things like hay and bedding, B. may be coming at the wrong time of year to get hay purchased and delivered (if they can afford the big lump sum, AND you need a plan for what to do if you kick them out and they have a ton of hay in your barn, they fail to pay the hay guy you recommended, etc), and C. will probably want to make changes (large or small) to layout, traffic patterns, etc. from how you had it set up for yourself. In addition to the buildings, are you also providing equipment for their use? That includes a way to move hay, bedding, and stall cleanings, plus feed and water buckets, forks, rakes, shovels, etc., etc. and the tractor, drag, spreader... Lots of people without property don't own most of those, and you have to expect at least wear-and-tear if not outright damage.

                                  If you do move forward, get photos of buildings, equipment, and fences, in detail, prior to move-in and have a clear, written agreement regarding normal wear and tear (covered by you) versus damages (covered by the renter). It's not uncommon, particularly after a year or two passes, for "who owns what" to get a bit muddled. Especially if Boarder breaks something of yours and is asked to replace it. Also have a plan in place for dealing with 'trash' left behind when a long-term boarder leaves. A rented barn is a convenient place to 'temporarily' store items someone doesn't feel like dragging home.