Renting out house + land - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-27-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Renting out house + land

I went to look at the forested land I mentioned in another post, but due to topography and zoning restrictions itís not going to work for us. However, I also looked at a house on 10 acres (mostly pasture) right next door, and weíre thinking about making an offer on it.

My question is, does anyone here have experience leasing out pasture or house plus pasture (we would be renting it out for a few years until we could move)? Would you recommend putting something in the contract about not overgrazing? Or would it be easier to do that by restricting the number of animals allowed? In addition to overgrazing concerns, this land is in a rainy area and too many animals could turn the ground to mud. If I were to go the route of limiting the number of animals, how many would you limit it to?

I guess, just, in general, what should I be thinking about if we were to buy this house and lease it out? We have thought about having to have the pastures mowed if the tenants donít have animals.
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-27-2019, 11:06 AM
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Almost every place we have leased had a restriction on how many head of horses.
The place we leased in east Texas, however, did not. 14 acres total, 12 acres in pasture. We had three head of horses at the time and divided the pasture with hot wire to rotational graze as there was no cross fencing. The pasture was on a slope, the bottom being soggy for a good portion of the year. There was a spring developed into a stock tank and also the back bottom was close to the lake shore.
I fed round bales in the winter and spring to keep them off the grass to let it come up and we still needed to mow during the summer. And also spray as the goat weed was pretty thick. With the number of horses we had and how we grazed it, it was not overgrazed.

But anyhow you can check with your local ag office and they can tell you how many head it can maintain based on your location, type and amount of forage available.

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post #3 of 14 Old 04-27-2019, 11:51 AM
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I have a feeling cowchick is a exceptional "renter" to the land.

Remember no one is going to take care of it as you the landowner and future inhabitant of the place would.
A contract with allowed of any probably needs to be in place for any lease agreement to work well.

And eyes to check on the place need done too.
I know by us, we can tell rental acreages versus owner occupied properties...

Some just yell at you in how they are cared for..

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post #4 of 14 Old 04-27-2019, 11:58 AM
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The few times that we have leased property to horse owners, it always turned out badly. Unless people own the land, they often do not make an effort to take care of it. They let the weeds take over, the barn fall into ruin, and the fences sag.

When we bought this place, it went under contract in February. The pastures were lush and green. It looked great. By the time we moved here and brought our horses here in May, the former owners had let their 4 horses overgraze it until those beautiful pastures were nothing but sand and weeds. It took us 10 years to bring that lush grass back to where it was when we made an offer on the property.

You might get lucky with your tenants, but there's a good chance that leasing your land to horse owners will be a headache and a heartache.
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-27-2019, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
I have a feeling cowchick is a exceptional "renter" to the land.
I agree! Still, maybe I could find someone like that. Maybe?

The way this land is situated, however, it's really possible that whoever rents it isn't going to have any livestock at all. I kind of feel like that might be the best case for us -- we'd have to pay to get it mowed a couple of times a year, but that would maintain the pastures. And we also might be able to get someone to use the back acreage for hay at no cost, like they would grow it out and be responsibly for harverting it.
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-27-2019, 12:17 PM
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I'd try to rent it out without animals, first. Hay the pastures off for yourself. I've not seen animal renting turn out well if you want to actually be able to use the pastures without reseeding them in the future.
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-27-2019, 03:26 PM
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Wow, it is really too bad people treat a horse or livestock rental property in such a manner. We have always left places we have rented in better condition than we received it as affordable horse properties can be hard to find and also it is the right thing to do.

It has been my experience, most people who run cattle for a living are familiar with good grazing practices. And I say "for a living" as I know when we lived in Texas it seemed everyone with a few acres had cows but maybe didn't really know much about them?

Another option besides renting to horse owners or if maybe haying wasn't cost-effective is to rent the house out without the use of pasture.
Lease the pasture out as if it were a grazing permit to someone who has a small bunch of cows. So many head of cattle for so many days as the feed allows preventing overgrazing.
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-28-2019, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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I had another thought. What if I had any prospective tenant pay an extra deposit per animal, to cover the cost of re-seeding the ground, should that become necessary, or to pay for any excessive wear caused by the animal? That might encourage them to take better care of the land; and if they didn't, it would allow me to re-seed the land afterwards.

It's very fertile soil in an area that gets lots of rain (near Seattle) so even with really bad wear on the pastures, I expect I could re-seed and get the pastures back to good condition within half a year at most and possibly a lot less, depending on the season.
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-28-2019, 11:21 AM
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I have owned rental properties in the past. I don't right now but I may do so again. First, NEVER under any circumstances rent to section 8 type of renters. That right there will cure about 50% of issues before they even start. Second, always take a deposit for each animal, as well as a deposit on the rent itself. I did first and last times two for the deposit on the rent. Third, if they have dogs specify what breeds you will not allow. As bad as it sounds people who have PWT dog breeds trashed my rentals every single time so I stopped allowing people with that type of dog to rent. Plus your insurance on the place goes sky high when your renters have any of the PWT dog breeds, pitbulls, rottweilers etc. Always set the max number of any type of animal you allow unless it is a farm property with appropriate facilities. Almost no renter will ever take as good care of your place as you would so you have to be prepared to do corrective work between each renter. I have had to do thousands of dollars in repair work between renters so make sure the deposits will cover that. Also don't rent to people with poor credit and always run a criminal background check and a credit check. Also make sure your contract specifies what kind of home businesses they can and can't run or you end up with renters running grow ops indoors and the house fills up with mold and other even nastier things.

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post #10 of 14 Old 04-28-2019, 12:54 PM
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The farm land surrounding our acreage is rented out to a fellow to run his cattle on in the summer (not owned by us). I'm not sure what their contract stipulates (IE: how many head can be on there and for how long), but for the 3 years we have been here we have seen the land deteriorate b/c he allows his cattle to over-graze. This spring the grass doesn't even appear to be growing in some areas.

The land owner has been trying to sell this land for a number of years - it is in dis-repair. The fences are falling down. The renter doesn't want to put money into property that isn't his - so for the last few summers we have dealt with his cattle getting out and being on the road and in our yard.

If you do decide to rent out for livestock, I would put a limit on how many head as well as if you want seasonal rotation to avoid the land being over-grazed. I'm sure as land owner you would be responsible for upkeep of fences, etc, but I would be very clear on these subjects. It could end up being costly for you if the animals kept destroying fences as well.

I'm sure there are responsible renters out there, but nowadays it seems that people just don't care. When we were looking at acreages to buy, we could certainly tell which ones had been rental properties. Very sad.
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