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Barn Manager SOS
My friend and I are moving our two geldings to a new farm. We gave our current barn manager 30 days notice, and it seemed very amicable, until yesterday. She left us bills dating back to December 2009 for "extras" (blanketing, bell boot changes, etc.). Some of the bills listed we had already paid, and some we have invoices for that were different (lesser) amounts than what she is charging us. Many we had never seen.
The last time that she handed us a six-month update for our "extras" was in April 2011 - we understood that we were paid up until that date.
We only had a verbal agreement for boarding where we are - no contract signed. How much legal responsibility do we have to pay for all of these "extras" (mine amounted to a little over $500)?
If you have no written boarding contract, you have no legal obligation to pay anything.
Keep your records though, just in case. Sounds like she might be nasty enough to try and take you to small claims court, especially if she's making up 'bills' to hand to you now. I hate scammers. :-x
Thank you! That is our thinking as well.
I slightly disagree with Speed racer. Most states have a automatic "service lien" on your horse for boarding services. ?? A signed contract would have been best for both the BO and you. But you are obligated to pay for services. The question is: what were the services and the balance from April 2011 to Oct 2011? That is 7 months!
Best to try to sit calmly and work it out.. She could hold your horse and the court could go either way on the amount...
I don't think so. Written contracts are put in place to protect both the BO and the owner. Neither are more important than the other.
Since the BO got absolutely nothing in writing, she has no legal recourse to hold the animals for 'back bills' that didn't exist prior to the OP stating her intent to leave.
If these were 'services rendered', why weren't they presented on a monthly basis?
How it ended up - we tried for two days to talk to our barn manager, but she was suspiciously absent every time we tried to find her - including hiding in her house (near the barn) when we knocked on the door. We ended up packing up our stuff, taking our horses, and leaving.
We went back after moving (the same night!), we finally caught her. She tried to be angry with us, but we had documented the differences between the bills, and ended up having a pretty civil conversation. We are waiting for her to send us itemized monthly bills. From April - September only.
Good for you! Glad to hear it sounds like it will end up ok.
good that's what i would have done. I would do a "snatch and go" with my horse and then deal with the paperwork later. if you have a bill from April then anything before that would be on there. I feel that the dishonesty is going to continue, but at least the bill will have to come down from the $500. If the bill is ridiculous then i would explain my case and send her what i think the services were worth. all the while document how much you send her. I bet she would drop it because small claims court isn't worth $200 and a bad reputation. If i was in her position and really thought i was owed the money i wouldn't fight over $200 because i don't want the negative attention. if that person came back i would explain that there is still $200 due from last time and i cant start a new arrangement until the old one is payed off.
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