When the house was listed for rent on craiglist, my fiance and I made an appointment to see it while we were in town interviewing for jobs (2 months prior to the move). The night before our appt, the owner called to say someone gave them a deposit. I responded saying if anything were to fall through, to please let us know. A week after we returned to FL, I received an email and knew I had to lock down this house before I lost it again.
We paid 2 months rent as a deposit to hold it. I was so excited and caught up, I didn't write up a practical lease regarding my horse. It simply said "...and one horse to have use of adjoining pasture and barn."
Nothing states who was to maintain the pasture, or what level of expectations were.
Here is what has happened in the past year
-The electric fence has not worked (though been 'fixed' twice by landlord)
-My new horse went through the seperating fence (electric wasn't working) cutting himself badly (and landlord fixed fence but didn't tell me. I found him cut up and bloody- and went to tell them that I was so sorry my horse must have done something to their fencing when they said they knew and already fixed the fence)
-Landlords horse died less than a month ago by impailing himself on T-post
-Water trough was not usable for a few weeks(and I was told they could drink from stagnant pond)
-Gate to adjoining pasture was broken and posing as a hazard
-Board fencing has begun coming undone/needing weekly repair (tenant has done this)
-Landlord fed said horse in pasture with mine, allowing mine to eat his grain (could have caused colic)
I was paying for daily use of the stalls from Sep 2010-summer 2011. When they were in pasture 24/7 I was told I didn't have to pay for the stalls. When fall of '11 hit, I was asked to begin paying for the stalls again. I used them MAYBE 10 times this past winter. The cost was never discussed again, so I have continued paying- for what I would consider barn use- tack and hay/feed is stored in barn. My fiance went around and tried to get electric working after their horse died, but there are grounds everywhere from massive plants/shrubs.
Today I was messaged that my horse had gotten out of the pasture and that landlord had to chase the horse (again). I never got the first notice until today.
I feel very irresponsible, because I had been fearful that the electric not working was dangerous and had I known they actually tested it, would have been addressing it at that time.
My dilemna is that I don't have enough legality to even put up a stink about it. I didn't get enough detail in the contract to expect anything since it's all self care. I want to fence in behind my house but when I told landlord that I would need to stop paying for the barn use (would be moving everything out) she said no and that we should keep everything the same way it is.
I called around for pasture board today but am getting heart palpitations even thinking of paying board for both horses. I simply cannot afford it. I feel like I am in a very tough spot.
When I got home, I planned to have a mature conversation asking them to either fix it, or allow me to hire someone and then take it out of the monthly payment. By the time I arrived, landlord said "The electric is working again, I dare him to test it now." It caught me off guard and I simply thanked the wife for safely getting my horse back in the pasture. I really really am thankful for that.
I don't know what to do. The only option I can forsee is redoing the lease when it comes back up in February, or selling one of my horses and boarding my 'heart' horse. I know I am responsible for their safety. I don't expect anyone else to care for them, I just don't know much about farm work and electric fencing. My fear is that if I make a stink about any of this, they could say "then board off the property." I moved to this rural area to have my horses home.
I know, my own stupidity, but what would you do at this point?