She backed out of a lease - WWYD?
Hi all. A little background info on the situation. I was listing my QH colt for sale and was approached by a woman who asked if I would lease him. I didn't want to sell in the first place so said OK. I've never leased one of my horses before. I found a good, solid looking lease agreement that seemed to work for both of us. It clearly states in the agreement that she has to give my 30 days notice to terminate the lease ( I must do the same for her). It also states that she must pay for the return shipping of the horse.
I get home yesterday and find an Email (that bugged me in a big way) saying that she can't afford to keep the horse so I need to come and pick him up ASAP. She picked him up 5 days ago! She said I need to get him today so she can get her board $$ back. She also is unwilling to pay for return shipping and my trailer is gone for the week to a show.
So what would you do? More than anything I'm super irritated because I turned down several buyers to lease him to her. Should I suck it up, rent a trailer and go get him? I don't want to be nasty but should I send her a bill for the shipping? I asked for 30 days notice for a reason - his stall at the farm where I had him has been filled so I'm scrambling to find a place for him. The woman was paid the board in full for the month at the place where she boards, so should I just leave him?? Ugh...I am panicking.
Ultimately, which is more important to you - sticking to the lease or the safe and speedy return of your horse? I know the answer is likely obvious, but it really does boil down to that. Yes, technically speaking she is bound by the lease and she should pay the shipping, etc - and you could enforce that -BUT, enforcing those terms legally will be a lengthy process and, in the meantime, your horse will be who knows where, getting who knows what kind of treatment. Ultimately, I would make whatever arrangements I could to get the horse back safely and THEN pursue the rest of the matter after-the-fact. Print and keep her e-mail and any other communication you have with her, keep any and all receipts that are involved in whatever arrangements you make to get the horse back to you, etc. With the signed agreement and this documentation, you have a decent shot at a small claims case, if you decide it's worth it to pursue (I'm all for holding people to things - just know that the process will not be quick and the expense of your time may not be worth it in the long run, that's your call)
Well, I doubt that the BO is going to give her the board money back, regardless of when you pick up the horse.
If it were my horse, I'd rent a trailer and go get him.
The lessee sounds like a total flake, and not someone I'd want near my animal.
I'm surprised you didn't run a credit check and references on her. A credit check would probably have turned up some interesting things.
You can always send this fruitcake a bill for shipping, but unless you're willing to take her to small claims court, don't expect her to pay.
Go get your horse, and chalk it up to a lesson learned. At least she didn't try to sell him, which is what some of these creepers do.
My big concern is where to bring him! Like I said, his stall is currently occupied. I'm calling everyone I know to find a place for him. My farm will have a stall in 2 weeks though. I know the farm where he is and it's a very reputable place run by a very well respected trainer. Maybe I'll ask if I can pay a daily rate there untill I get a free stall at my place. The woman I leased to works there though, and I don't want her anywhere near him if that is what happens. I know I'm being petty but I'm not a happy camper. Blame the pregnancy hormones for the bitchiness I guess. On the upside, that farm is less than 10 minutes away.
Now to find a trailer...and I'll send her the bill for the shipping. Not that I think I'll get the $$ but more to make a point. If you commit and sign your name to something, you should honour that agreement!
No, I didn't do a credit check but I did speak to her employer. She is a trainer/judge and she gave her a good report. Said she is reliable and good to the horses. I have a lot of respect for this lady so I took her word for it.
I'm going out there in a little while to get the scoop on what the heck is going on...will update.
Well, you apparently did your homework on this woman. I wonder what her employer has to say about her now?
Yes, please keep us updated. I'd like to hear how all this turns out.
BTW - the other issue with pursuing this via small claims -- even if you do win and are granted a judgment, that doesn't guarantee actual collection/payment of the judgment.
Again, NOT saying you haven't got every right to pursue this or that she should not be held to the contract (I am 10000000% on your side on that matter), just saying that unfortunately what "should" happen isn't what usually ends up happening.
So, the barn where he is at now is about 10 minutes away from you? And you know the owner/trainer at that barn? Maybe talk to him/her and see if the horse can stay at that barn until you have an opening in your barn. After all, tell him/her what happened, show the paperwork, contract and email and maybe the money will not be returned to the leaseee and your horse can stay there since a stall has already been paid for until you have your stall open again.
Course I look at the bad side, and maybe this person has found another horse to lease/buy and wants yours gone fast to use the stall she has already paid for.
Good luck, keep us informed
Wyoming, from what the OP posted, it sounds to me like this woman just doesn't have the money for the lease.
We all know people like that. They WANT something, so instead of logically thinking things through, they bulldoze ahead and think by some miracle it's all going to work out.
Then reality sets in, and they realize they can't afford it.
I have no sympathy for the lessee at all, just saying this may be the case.
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