Horses damaged BO's barn, barn illegally rented to me - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 30 Old 12-26-2013, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 157
• Horses: 0
Horses damaged BO's barn, barn illegally rented to me

Hi everyone at horse forums. I hope that everyone is enjoying their holidays, and that I can find some legal advice here because everywhere else is asking me to pay for it, and I cannot just hire a lawyer before I know whether I have a case.

I rented a pasture with a small barn for about a year and when I was a few days late on payments for a couple months in a row, I was forced to leave and get my horses out by the payment deadline. I got them out in a hurry, although the only place I could get them to with that speed was over an hour away. After I had got them out, the owner of the barn claimed my horses did nearly $3000 damage to this small barn, they had ripped off some of the vinyl siding, dislodged an electrical outlet and apparently kicked a bump into one wall and did some kind of damage to the doors on the other side. The barn was already in disrepair before I moved my 2 horses in there, they made it worse. I was too stupid to have any liability insurance at the time.

I signed an agreement they hand wrote stating I would make $300 monthly payments until it was paid in full. I then go to town hall on my friend's advice to see if the barn was legal to use for livestock. I found a record stating that in 1993 the land was assessed and the barn was deemed not suited for livestock due to being too close to the neighbour's property line.

I don't even care about getting the money back that I have paid into it already. I just want to cut ties with these people without further ado and be left alone. Should I tell them what I found out? I'm not going to hire a lawyer only to waste more money I don't have on a case I don't have a chance in.

I found out also that such a barn was completely unsuitable for horses anyway and glad I am out of there, but this man won't leave me alone. I don't want to challenge him because I am afraid he will sue me or try and come to my house and demand payment. This is in new jersey, for anyone wondering.

Special thank you to anyone who has any advice for me.
luvmydrafts is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 30 Old 12-26-2013, 01:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,486
• Horses: 0
If what he did was illegal, he cannot collect any damages.

My dad watches Judge Judy. If someone rents out an illegal apartment, and the tenant does not pay rent, they will not be able to get their money back. I'm assuming the same would apply here.

In the meantime, change phone numbers, or ignore all calls.
KigerQueen likes this.
4horses is offline  
post #3 of 30 Old 12-26-2013, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 157
• Horses: 0
He is now suing me, so I hope that that is right. I told him I wasn't paying him anymore because the barn was never fit to rent for horses to begin with, and he said he will see me in court.
luvmydrafts is offline  
post #4 of 30 Old 12-26-2013, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: An English Girl living in beautiful Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,606
• Horses: 0
I do not know your local law, but the basic facts are as I see them:

He has a piece of paper saying that you agree to pay $x for damages done to his property.

You are now asking if you can say to the court that you DID do the damage but it was your horses that did it, and your horses shouldn't have been there, so you are not responsible for the damage.

Hmmm it seems a bit weak to me, sorry.

You willingly put your horses there, without checking whether the property was legal for horses - he didn't MAKE you put your horses there. And according to the piece of paper, you subsequently agreed to pay for the damage.

I feel sorry for you because I would be willing to bet that the value of any damage your horses may have done was less than he is claiming off you. I think that if you are going to argue anything in court you could try to have the amount he is claiming against you reduced.

Good luck with it. Sometimes it is better to give in, having learned a valuable (expensive!) lesson.
Chasin Ponies likes this.

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
Shropshirerosie is offline  
post #5 of 30 Old 12-26-2013, 09:15 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,486
• Horses: 0
If he does get any money back, it would only be for the cost of replacement/fixing. He cannot sue for a new barn. He would also have to prove your horses did the damage.

Do you have pictures of the barn when you moved in? Any other animals on the property?

Does the barn have a building permit? Are barns required to have permits where you live? If it does not have a permit, you can threaten to report the barn as illegal and get it torn down or have him fined. It may make him back off.

IF he has electricity that is another issue. My barn has permits but we are not supposed to have electricity in it. I'm not sure what the fine is for having electricity added... My barn had to be in the middle of the property- you have to have it so far from the neighbors, otherwise it is not up to code. The problem is if he no longer has animals in the barn, he may not be violating the coding laws.

You need to check the laws in your area. I'm not sure how well apartment laws apply to a barn.
Lunavi likes this.
4horses is offline  
post #6 of 30 Old 12-26-2013, 09:36 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,401
• Horses: 0
The only tactic that I can see is to get proof that the barn can not be used for livestock (apparently there is something that on record) and have it at the ready. Then throw yourself on the mercy of the court if it actually gets that far - tell them the facts as you have found them out including the state of the barn when you moved in and the judge may let you off on what you've paid so far or some other reduced amount.

It's a pity you signed the agreement to repay. I'm not a lawyer by any stretch but it comes across that you recognized it as your responsibility and that you are prepared to make restitution. I hope, by the way, that you have receipts for any payment(s) you've given over already.
Yogiwick likes this.
Chevaux is offline  
post #7 of 30 Old 12-26-2013, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 157
• Horses: 0
He told me he would sue me if I didn't agree to sign it.

I'm done for if I can't win this or get it greatly reduced. I don't have $3000 or even $2000. To say nothing of being able to afford a lawyer.

I do have proof that the barn is unfit for livestock according to the township. It is not up to code because it is too close to the fence line. I also have receipts of what I have already paid.
luvmydrafts is offline  
post #8 of 30 Old 12-27-2013, 04:05 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,401
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by luvmydrafts View Post
He told me he would sue me if I didn't agree to sign it...
Add that to the argument - he made you sign under duress (worth a try).
Chevaux is offline  
post #9 of 30 Old 12-27-2013, 04:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NC
Posts: 187
• Horses: 1
The way I see it, you got two options: try your luck in small claims, or hire a laser with experience in livestock and property laws and try to get the whole thing thrown out. I would gather up everything that you think may help (photos of the barn and damages, legal documents, see if you can find minimum standards of horse keeping as required by local law) and go see a lawer for help, even if you just ask for legal advice, so that you have help from a local expert on the laws.

I have no clue how this is going to turn out for you, but it sounds like you've gotten yourself in quite the jam. I wouldn't expect to walk away from this without having to pay somebody, somewhere- be it the landowner, lawyer or court costs. The fact is, you brought some of this on yourself and now you pay the piper.

Always get everything in writing, and never sign anything with complete understanding of what it is you are agreeing to. I've signed a lease contract in the past where we went through and made notations of everything and how responsibilities where going to break down before it was signed.
Posted via Mobile Device
Chasin Ponies likes this.
commonfish is offline  
post #10 of 30 Old 12-28-2013, 07:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,193
• Horses: 0
Court isn't so bad, in fact once it goes to court it could just as easily swing in your favor. It is common for someone to claim a pile of damages after someone has departed and I'm sure the judge is wise to this. Don't sign anything. Ask him to mail it to you and keep it for court. If there's a record of him calling you, keep them. Do not initiate contact with him. Should he call again, hang up. As long as you talk to him he is in control. If it goes to court, dress in a classy manner. A judge likes that, man or woman. He will have his say, then the judge will ask you some questions. It's not criminal court.
Chasin Ponies likes this.
Saddlebag is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Decisions when Building a barn: PreFab Wood Barn versus PreFab Steel Barn Draftstar Barn Maintenance 3 10-31-2013 01:47 AM
Which way should barn aisle and main barn doors face? tpup Barn Maintenance 5 04-04-2013 08:45 AM
Teaching a barn kitty to stay around the barn? PaintMare Farm Forum 8 04-09-2012 02:25 PM
Going from Low Key barn to Show Barn! Sam23 Barn Maintenance 11 11-09-2011 08:16 PM
Old pics from my Paw Paws old barn in TX and lesson barn omgpink Horse Pictures 3 04-16-2009 12:05 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome