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Barn Owners: How Much Grace Period Before Board is Late?

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  • Barn Owners: How Much Grace Period Before Board is Late?

    I own a small private barn and have one or two boarders.
    The board is due on the first of the month. Usually our boarder pays within a day or two of the first of the month, but on occasion has paid a week later.

    We depend on the board to pay for hay and our part-time help.
    When do you expect payment for monthly board and at what point is it considered late? Do you charge a late fee after a certain date?

  • #2
    What does your boarding agreement/contact say? And if this isn't included, I'd get the agreement re-written and re-signed.
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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Unfortunately, I don't have a boarding agreement. Bad practice, I know.
      It has never been a problem in the past, now I know I should have one.

      Comment


      • #4
        First, if a board check being a week late means you can't buy hay or pay your worker then you need to take a good look at your finances and how close to disaster you are.

        Second, generally board is due on a certain day or between say the 1st and the 5th and then late after the 5th with an extra fee added on. So $250 on the 1st of the month and $300 on the 6th of the month. Without a contract it will be difficult to enforce but you can always have a conversation with your boarder and ask them that board is in by a certain day.
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        • #5
          I haven't taken in boarders in over a decade, but my last boarding contract was very explicit. Board was due on the 1st. There was a $10.00/day late charge. It definitely cut down on people "forgetting" or being lackadaisical about getting their board checks in on time. There was NO grace period.
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          • #6
            I agree the 5th should be the last day to pay without interest or a late fee. Most leases for rent due on the 1st use the 5th as the last day without penalty, with payment on the 6th or thereafter requiring a late payment fee in addition.
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            • #7
              I rent an apartment, and rent is due by the 5th of every month. A late fee is charged after the 5th. It is spelled out clearly in the lease agreement

              I think it should be the same for horses board. If I were you I'd be writing up a contract, and getting it checked over by a lawyer. I'd also be looking into my finances because it seems scary to be that reliant on board.
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              • #8
                I also have a small private farm with 8 boarded horses. Board is due on the 1st (and my contract says so). Most of my boarders pay around the 1st but some run as late as the 10th. I'm a pretty easy going person and so I have never insisted on payment on the 1st on the nose. Everyone pays; if it is a week or two past the due date I'm not bothered.

                I've also had a couple of boarders run into financial difficulties and in both cases they talked to me and I understood; and while they paid late for a couple of months they both got current when they said they would.

                I would echo what the other posters have said. Get a contract, now!! And, rethink your operation, if you don't have even a few days' grace with the money. I'd say get rid of the labor and do it yourself as a starter. (If you can't then something is really wrong with your set up).
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                • #9
                  I am at a 100% self-care farm and we have a contract. Board is due the 1st. Grace until the 5th. For every day after the 5th, there is a $10 per day penalty.
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                  • #10
                    i've always charged a late charge after the 5th of the month. i did learn that a per day late fee works better than a set fee. Unfortunately, there are people who feel that once they've already racked up the late fee...they can wait even longer.

                    The best thing i ever did is start using the free version of Quickbooks online. I have only one boarder right now (by choice) and I just bill her through Quickbooks and she pays me electronically. It costs me $0.50 per transaction.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Board due on 1st where I'm at. Grace period till the 5th. $25 late fee after that.

                      BO is pretty lenient, I know she's waved the late fee for good long-term boarders who went through a patch. A few times, for boarders with weird pay periods she gave them the option of paying on the 15th which worked in most cases but one boarder was still habitually late even with that accommodation. She was asked to leave.

                      If it's just a matter of getting the check up there are you able to accept board payments via Paypal? I had a landlord who offered that option and it was great!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A small grace period is sometimes very helpful. The banks around here hold out-of-state paychecks for 24 hours, and once in a while the deposit date coincides with the 1st of the month. Being able to pay on the 2nd when that occurs is a nice gesture from the BO.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Prime Time Rider View Post
                          Unfortunately, I don't have a boarding agreement. Bad practice, I know.
                          It has never been a problem in the past, now I know I should have one.
                          First, GET A CONTRACT. It is really really really really bad practice not to have one. Ask me how I know.

                          Second, a week late is nbd to me as long as the boarder is reliable and it isn't a every single month kind of thing. Later than a week and I would be asking where my money is. I don't charge a late fee though.
                          come what may

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
                            I am at a 100% self-care farm and we have a contract. Board is due the 1st. Grace until the 5th. For every day after the 5th, there is a $10 per day penalty.
                            THIS
                            Also, there is a full-care barn near me that charges $650/month but is $550 if you pay by the 10th. This would be a good incentive to pay on time!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chief2 View Post
                              A small grace period is sometimes very helpful. The banks around here hold out-of-state paychecks for 24 hours, and once in a while the deposit date coincides with the 1st of the month. Being able to pay on the 2nd when that occurs is a nice gesture from the BO.
                              Also, I like to hand my check directly to the BO. If I don't see her the day my board is due, it might technically be a day or two late.
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                              • #16
                                my board contract says 10 days and i start getting charged extra for each day over.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Five days. Due on the first, late after the fifth, ten/day until it's paid. Or a flat rate if you don't mind 30 days late being the same pain point as 1 day late.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Even without a contract, the OP could send out a notice to her boarders instituting a late fee policy. My former BO/BM did that.. and really these days you can pay online thru your bank there is really no reason or excuse to pay late other than forgetful/lazy... of course these are hard times for plenty of people and for those it's always best to have a conversation w/ the owner or manager to work out an arrangement, than just be habitually late.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      when I boarded horse payment was due the 1st and after the 5th it was $5.00 a day. If I had boarders that didn't come to the barn weekly I had them give me 4 post dated checks. when I was down to the last check I would get 4 more.

                                      I pay my board via e-Transfer, I pay $1.00 to do this but it work great for me. As long as the other person does on line banking with the major banks it works great. The payment is out of my account and in to theirs. I also tend to pay my board early.
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Prime Time Rider View Post
                                        I own a small private barn and have one or two boarders.
                                        The board is due on the first of the month. Usually our boarder pays within a day or two of the first of the month, but on occasion has paid a week later.

                                        We depend on the board to pay for hay and our part-time help.
                                        When do you expect payment for monthly board and at what point is it considered late? Do you charge a late fee after a certain date?
                                        Absolutely! Not to sound like a jerk here, but you are running a business, not a charity! My board is due the first, after the third it is $50 extra. It was $25, but no one seems to take that seriously. Politely let the boarder know that you need board on or before the first because you are counting on it to buy x, y, and z.
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