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Questions to ask before leasing horse property

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  • Questions to ask before leasing horse property

    A friend and I are considering leasing horse property together. We've found a farm that we really like and it is about as perfect as we could ask for. Room for all four of our horses, several pastures, runs off of the barn, sacrifice paddock area, plenty of hay/tack/grain storage, lovely outdoor arena, and a great house to boot. Plus it's affordable and would allow both of us to stop boarding our horses. The only bad thing about it is the commute to work, but that's another thread entirely. Around here, you expect a commute from hell.

    We've asked several of the typical questions like how much do utilities usually run, what are the neighbors like, etc., but I'm sure that there are many questions that we're forgetting. This is the first time either of has ventured into this territory, as both of us grew up on farms with our horses, but never leased or rented our own place before.

    Maybe this is a stupid question, but can anyone offer additional suggestions on what we should be asking? I feel like it is really different from asking about an apartment I might be renting, if that makes sense. Any ideas, thought, words of wisdom are much appreciated.
    "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."

  • #2
    If you are on well and septic, I would ask when the septic tank was last cleaned, any problems with the drainfield, well problems, etc...and who pays for problems/repairs to either. Both VERY costly. And both a PIA if not functioning properly.

    I would ask if the neighbors hunt (guns), do fireworks or if there are any problems with free-roaming dogs (if any might be a problem for you).

    I'm sure there are more, both those are the first that came to mind.
    www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
    "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
    Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


    • Original Poster

      Thanks, sid. This is exactly what I'm looking for....things I should think about but that I just can't seem to remember when I really need to. Those are great questions...thanks so much!
      "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."


      • #4
        Don't know where you are, but I would want to ask when's the last time it flooded, who will be responsible for repairs on barn, etc., whether equipment (tractor or whatever) comes with the lease and who will be responsible for repairs.

        Whether place is for sale, whether you could lease out a stall (or whatever) to anyone not specifically named on the lease.

        And like sid said, I'd ask questions about the well, how the pump is powered and whether there's a backup generator.

        Really think things through, make a detailed list of what comes with the place, who's responsible for it (repairs or replacement). Surprises will not be happy events for you.

        But it could work out great and be perfect for you.


        • #5
          Depending on what your lease costs are going to be, it might be worth it to have the property inspected for $300-400.

          Who pays for trash disposal?
          What is the manure/waste management situation? Harrow (is one available for you to use?) Dumpster? Is it supplied? The cost of a dumpster can run several hundred $'s a month.

          Lawn maintenance? Who mows? Is equipment available for you to use if you're required to do the upkeep?

          Are there hoses, rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, feed bins, or will you have to invest in your own?

          Get copies of past months utility bills - do not accept "oh, not too much".

          Walk all the paddocks and make a note, or even better take pictures, of any damage, missing fence boards, dead trees, etc. Make sure all the gates shut and latch.

          If there's damage to the fences, barn, driveway from you or your horses do you have to pay? Repair? Replace?

          What is insurance going to cost to lease a farm?

          Take pictures of inside and outside of the house, garage, and barns and have the owner and yourself sign all copies. We always did that with rental property so when they painted the bedroom purple, or the kitchen black....!

          After all is said and done the comfort of having your horses at home is priceless.


          • #6
            My husband & I have been leasing a farm for the last two years...and overall it has been an amazing experience. If you have any questions feel free to PM me.


            • Original Poster

              You guys are the best. I KNEW I could count on my fellow COTHers to think of stuff! Thank you VERY much!
              "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."


              • #8

                Trust me on that one. I lived on a swamp--only it wasn't one when I moved in.....


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by InstigatorKate View Post

                  Trust me on that one. I lived on a swamp--only it wasn't one when I moved in.....
                  Mud sucks!!! (no pun intended!) I can SO relate to that one...

                  This is one question that I did ask about, actually! The farm has amazing drainage, especially where the arena is. (Yay!) It apparently can get a little muddy next to the barn, but I expect that to a degree. It's built on the side of a big hill, so fortunately, no danger of swamps!
                  "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."


                  • #10
                    Make sure whatever insurance company you use covers livestock related liability. People who rent usually obtain renters insurance, which usually only covers property like tv, stereo, etc.

                    You'll want to make sure you obtain good coverage, just in case your horses get out or there is another type of incident. I'm not sure if EMO offers that type of coverage but if you're interested here is their website - http://www.rideemo.com/index.cfm?action=about.

                    Your lease/rental agreement should address things like which party is responsible for upkeep, utilities, etc. If not - make sure it is spelled out. Particularly if you are permitted to use or operate any of the farm implements/tractor.

                    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                    -Rudyard Kipling


                    • #11
                      *Will they limit the number of animals you can have, as well as what types-
                      *Do they expect to be using the property for any purposes during the lease
                      (such as storing equipment, etc)
                      *Will they allow you to board other horses, or allow other riders onto the property?
                      * Has the property ever been known for illegal activity? The last thing you want is people thinking their favorite drug house is open again, and showing up at all hours of the night!
                      * Is the property at risk of foreclosure?


                      • #12
                        Not only how many animals the owner will allow on the property, but .... if there are any zoning laws, etc in that area limiting the # of animals and/or anything to do with them.... are there requirements for manure disposal for odora nd fly control? etc...
                        "Show me the back of a thoroughbred horse, and I will show you my wings."


                        • #13

                          Here are the places I'd go:
                          village hall (for zoning laws, property blueprints, information about new developments being planned, new highways being built, trail access being cut off).
                          Real Estate offices: is it for sale?
                          Coffee shop: what do the locals have to say about it
                          Neighbors: ask them about the farm
                          Local stationary store: pick up local papers to see what's happening
                          and to locate your hay suppliers etc.
                          Call the local horse vets and ask about the area (hours open etc).
                          Web: pay for a credit check on the leasor.

                          Other than that what a wonderful sounding opportunity!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BoldChance View Post
                            Not only how many animals the owner will allow on the property, but .... if there are any zoning laws, etc in that area limiting the # of animals and/or anything to do with them.... are there requirements for manure disposal for odora nd fly control? etc...
                            This (and many of the OTHER questions on here) you DON'T ask the owner/leasor. Not if you want a straight/correct answer. Zoning, land use restrictions, environmental regulations and other laws and regulations change CONSTANTLY, so getting a correct answer from the most honest person is hard. Do the research yourself.