How much is a reasonable rent for field and stables?

Joined
5 September 2021
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28
Hi all,
Looking for some advice.
We moved into our house last year and inherited a horsey tenant. The tenant has 3 horses, and she rents the use of our 8 acres of fields, a stable, a secure tackroom, a shelter, a hard standing, running water and electricity and 24/7 access to our land through secure gates. She does not poo-pick, or maintain the fields/fences in any way, other than picking ragwort. She said when we moved in that she gets the fields chain harrowed twice a year - we've been here 14 months and seen it done once. We have no written agreement with any terms.

We inherited the rent of £10 per week per horse, but having been in a year, concentrating on the house, we have now turned our attention to the fields. From our research, we have found that we could be charging £30 per week per horse, that seems to be the fair market rate for our area. A cheap rent is £20, but that seems to come with other responsibilities such as the poo picking and fence repair etc.

Yesterday, we told our tenant that we wanted to talk about increasing the rent and putting a written agreement in place. She went apoplectic, accusing us of being greedy and hating her and threatening us with legal action. And then telling us how much the horses and the land mean to her.

Has anyone else had experience of increasing rent? We are looking to charge £20-£25 a week, which is still seems to be on the generous side for the facilities she has access to. Is that reasonable to you experienced horsey folk? And is there anything she can do legally to stop us putting up the rent? I don't think that there is, but want to have all bases covered. The tenant does try to use our horse inexperience against us!

Many thanks in advance.
 

Lipglosspukka

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12 November 2020
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Well it sounds like she's not a great tennant anyway and is hard work!!

I would give her notice to leave, then advertise for someone else that isn't a pain in the ass.

And yes, the amount she is paying is very cheap, which I may be inclined to overlook if she took good care of the land, but as she doesn't, just bin her off and find someone who will.
 

windand rain

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I am in a fairly similar situation from the opposite side but I pay £250 per month, have half the acreage and a contract in place. We have ponies but apart from that it is pretty much the same set up muck removal, water, electricity and perimiter fencing are the landlords job. We poo pick everyday even in the snow, we fertilise, reseed and care for the land. Any land he can see from his house is aesthetically cared for so he has a good view from his windows eg green post and tape dividing fences. He does provide a couple of bags of fertiliser every now and again and we try very hard to respect him, his property and his peace. We have been there 12 years so it is a cheap rent.
Now for the problems If he moves or sells up unless we can agree a rental with the new owners we are basically stuffed. Sometimes he isn't as swift as he might be pullng his weight on his side of the contract and it can be a problem with some other bits and bobs but overall it works really well. Your tenant needs to accept that you own the land and it is your way now.
 

FFAQ

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I have use of stables, and a little yard and 6 acres. The owner is elderly so our agreement is that I organise repairs and give her the bill. However, the rent is so cheap (£22.50 per horse per week) that I am very happy to replace anything my horses have broken (which is good manners anyway) with at least the brand new equivalent or better. Last year the stable roof needed replacing so I sourced the materials as cheaply as possible and we did the job ourselves.
I poo pick for as long as I can drag a wheelbarrow around, then harrow whatever we couldn't pick up over winter in the summer.
£10 a week per horse is an absolute steal, but a 100% increase in the rent would come as quite a shock I imagine! However, she's unlikely to find cheaper elsewhere. I would be inclined to look at a DIY livery contract. You can find free templates online.
 
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Round here (NW Surrey) you would be looking at a minimum of £400pcm for 3 horses on what is effectively the renters own yard. That may or may not include water and electricity bills.
The renters would be responsible for maintaining fences, land, buildings and muck heap removal etc.

I would give tenant notice as what she currently pays won't probably cover bills...
She will kick off, so give a good month+ notice and be prepared for her to fight....

Leave the land empty over winter, ensure its 'up to scratch' and advertise it as a sole user yard in the spring.
 

ihatework

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Get rid of this tenant. At £10/week/horse that land should be maintained immaculately for you. Their response to you wanting to discuss terms just seals the deal to get rid.

£25/week/horse is perfectly reasonable and an expectation to do basic maintenance by the tennant.
 

Mrs Jingle

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Yesterday, we told our tenant that we wanted to talk about increasing the rent and putting a written agreement in place. She went apoplectic, accusing us of being greedy and hating her and threatening us with legal action. And then telling us how much the horses and the land mean to her
Get rid of her, she is going to be a rude and ignorant liability and spoil your pleasure and personal use of your new property. Nip it in the bud, give her a months notice and then advertise in local feed stores etc at a more realistic rental and have a fair and non negotiable contract drawn up with your new tenant, stating clearly what your terms of use are. I suspect you won't take very long at all to find a new tenant.
 

Auslander

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She's taking the mick. She;s been on a very sweet deal for a long time, and now has to accept graciously that she needs to pay a reasonable rate, and take care of the place better. She also needs to start treating you with respect!
I pay a fair whack of rent for my house and yard, I pay for all field maintenance, incl annual harrowing and rolling, and do most of the repairs myself. I've been a model tenant for 6 years (and was a residential tenant of the same landlord for 2 years before that) and we get on very well, but if I went apoplectic with him, he'd have no hesitation in serving me notice
Your inexperience is irrelevant - this is a business arrangement. She has no leg to stand on legally, and she has no right to speak to you the way she has
 

holeymoley

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Wow she is paying buttons. If I had that set up and paid £10 per horse I’d honestly worship the ground it was on, I’d keep the place in the best condition I possibly could.

No help at all, I have a friend who rents a similar set up and pays for fields to get cut/baled/harrowed whatever. She poo picks and does everything like that. She does say she pays very little but owner is elderly and stables are only collecting dust.
 

Goldenstar

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Speak to a solicitor or a land agent get them to serve notice and get rid .
Then tidy the place up and put it up for rent as a whole .
Get a land agent to let you know what the market rent is for your area .
I can see that it can worth less than £150 a week with the tenant responsible for the electricity bills .
I would interview the tenants your self and be very clear what you are responsible for and what they are have everything in writing everything .
 

Aperchristmas

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I wouldn't have an issue with what she is paying if she maintained the land, fencing & facilities to an impeccable standard and was otherwise very easy to deal with. In that scenario I would honestly say better the devil you know because you won't know what you are getting with a new tenant and an easy life is worth the hit if you can afford it! However she doesn't do those things, and was very rude to you. Proceed with drawing up a formal agreement and increase the rent. She'll probably have to leave, but then you can find someone better.
 

SpottyTB

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I think if i were in your position, i'd look at renting the entire thing as a whole rather than per horse .. I'm not sure where you are but around here £25-35 for DIY livery is standard but usually this includes the use of a school and is more of a livery yard situation rather than grazing with stable/shelter.

We rented 6 acres (in written agreement we weren't allowed more than 6 horses on it - we only ever had 4 on it) with 3 stables, tackroom, hay barn for £400 a month. It was up to us how we managed the fields but anything broken was to be replaced (such as fencing etc), muck heap removal was our problem, pest control etc etc all down to us.

On the flipside, my gran (lives 20 miles away) rents 4 acres, a stable, field shelter etc pays £10 a horse (and has done for the last 10 years - she pays for electric separately via a key meter). She's a good tenant, pays on time, poo picks the pony paddock and we harrow the horses paddock at least once a month.

Decide what you want for it, give her the option with a written contract specifying what she has to do maintenance/behaviour wise and she has the option then.. but saying that, she doesn't sound ideal so maybe you ought to give her notice.
 

SO1

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She is panicking as she knows she is on a very good deal and may not be able to afford the rent elsewhere.

No need for her to be rude though and threaten legal action. If she was reasonable you would be more inclined to negotiate with her.

I think rather than giving her notice and having possibly to take legal action yourself to get her off the property which may be time consuming and expensive for you. It can be difficult to find space elsewhere for 3 horses at short notice.

She doesn't even know how much you intend to increase the price by at this point or how much notice of price increase. £20 a week per horse would not be unreasonable for this set up as you have no school and would depend on where in country you are but I think you need to be careful and have a contract so she does not sub let the land to other horse owners to cover her rent increase.

However for her to find another £120 a month it might be a problem so if you want to be kind perhaps say you will be putting up the rent in 6 months time this gives her more time to find somewhere else or find a way of increasing her income maybe a better paid job etc. Say to her you need to put the rent to cover any maintenance and insurance costs you might have due to renting out the land. You might want to make sure she has public liability insurance. £30 a week probably does not even cover your costs especially if water and electricity included.
 

PurBee

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Depending on your area and quality of the land/grazing depends on rent.
What are your local hacking routes like?
Ask an estate agent that deals with properties with land, or ‘equestrian estate agent’ as to what the average market rent would be as a ‘yard’.

I wouldnt charge per horse, id charge as a whole yard, (which it is) with a limit as to number of horses allowed on the yard.
Charging per horse without a limit of horses stated in contract means someone can sub-let to others, over-crowd, ruin the land etc. Or inversely, just have 2 horses there for effectively a 4 horse yard, and you’d receive less rent due to only 2 horses there.

10 quid per horse per week is an absolute steal, even on shite land in the outer herbrides!
 

Mrs Jingle

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However for her to find another £120 a month it might be a problem so if you want to be kind perhaps say you will be putting up the rent in 6 months time this gives her more time to find somewhere else or find a way of increasing her income maybe a better paid job etc. Say to her you need to put the rent to cover any maintenance and insurance costs you might have due to renting out the land. You might want to make sure she has public liability insurance. £30 a week probably does not even cover your costs especially if water and electricity included.

With respect, that is not the owner's problem. The owner does not need to be give any reason for the increase, I can guarantee the present livery knows full well she is only paying a fraction of the true worth! Add on to that the initial dealings with the livery have been extremely rude, totally unreasonable, manipulative and threatening. Why on earth would anybody want to continue ANY deal on contact with the livery or have anyone that demented and controlling in close proximity to their property, at any cost?
 
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With respect, that is not the owner's problem. The owner does not need to be give any reason for the increase, I can guarantee the present livery knows full well she is only paying a fraction of the true worth! Add on to that the initial dealings with the livery have been extremely rude, totally unreasonable, manipulative and threatening. Why on earth would anybody want to continue ANY deal on contact with the livery or have anyone that demented and controlling in close proximity to their property, at any cost?
Absolutely spot on Mrs J! 🙂
 

MissTyc

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We run a grass livery yard and additionally have two little parcels of land just down the road that we rent out separately. Each parcel is about 3 acres + 2 stables. We charge £90/week total for a max of two horses + one pony or 4 small ponies per parcel. We expect it to be maintained impeccably. We pay water rates as part of the whole yard rate but there is no electricity; we supply nothing in terms of fencing other than maintaining the outer perimetre (stone wall); we fix wear and tear on stables, roof, trough/water leak, etc. We overseed annually and will cover costs of Ragwort/thistle spraying if this is required as it's a big problem in our area and don't want the land to go to wasteland if a tenant turns out to be lazy on weed control.
If it's not impeccable on spot checks, that tenant is likely to be asked to leave; we always have a waiting list as everyone is desperate for their own land.
No access to school but there i access to off road hacking about 5 mi nup the road.
 

Sandstone1

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16 July 2010
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5,686
Hi all,
Looking for some advice.
We moved into our house last year and inherited a horsey tenant. The tenant has 3 horses, and she rents the use of our 8 acres of fields, a stable, a secure tackroom, a shelter, a hard standing, running water and electricity and 24/7 access to our land through secure gates. She does not poo-pick, or maintain the fields/fences in any way, other than picking ragwort. She said when we moved in that she gets the fields chain harrowed twice a year - we've been here 14 months and seen it done once. We have no written agreement with any terms.

We inherited the rent of £10 per week per horse, but having been in a year, concentrating on the house, we have now turned our attention to the fields. From our research, we have found that we could be charging £30 per week per horse, that seems to be the fair market rate for our area. A cheap rent is £20, but that seems to come with other responsibilities such as the poo picking and fence repair etc.

Yesterday, we told our tenant that we wanted to talk about increasing the rent and putting a written agreement in place. She went apoplectic, accusing us of being greedy and hating her and threatening us with legal action. And then telling us how much the horses and the land mean to her.

Has anyone else had experience of increasing rent? We are looking to charge £20-£25 a week, which is still seems to be on the generous side for the facilities she has access to. Is that reasonable to you experienced horsey folk? And is there anything she can do legally to stop us putting up the rent? I don't think that there is, but want to have all bases covered. The tenant does try to use our horse inexperience against us!

Many thanks in advance.
I think if it were me I would give her 3 months notice that you are going to increase the rent and put a a agreement in place. That way if she is not happy it gives her time to find something else. If shes been there a long time it may have come as a shock to her that you want to change things. If you are going to increase the rent significantly you may have to pay to have the fields maintained as in chain harrowing spraying for weeds etc. I would insist she poo picks at least 3x a week.
 

PeterNatt

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If you would like a copy of a annual Licence Agreement I can let you have acopy. In my case I organise all the maintenance of the fields (harrowing, rolling, hedge citting, fence and gate repairs) and the regular removal of the dung heep as that way I know it gets done. I also insist that all the horse poos are picked up each day without fail. As regards Ragwort I spot spray it to kill it off down to the roots and then collect it in plastic bags and dispose of it.
 
Joined
5 September 2021
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Thank you all so much for the replies, really very helpful.

Our plan is to put a DIY Livery Agreement in place and charge £325 for the facilities as mentioned above, rather than a per horse per week. There will be a requirement for poo-picking daily, or as near to daily as reasonable, and for maintenance of the fields. We will maintain and repair fences etc.

We have already paid for one lot of muck removal, replaced the roof on the shelter and are currently paying for the fields to be sprayed for weeds.

We have decided to be reasonable and send her the agreement but with it starting on December 1st so that she has time to decide what she wants to do. If she decides to leave, then we will overwinter the land and let it rest and then look for new tenants with a new rental charge, probably around £400 a month.

Does that sound reasonable? I know that whatever we say to her other than 'its ok, keep everything as it is' is going to be met with fire, and it has truly amazed me at how spot on a lot of you are at naming the rest of her behaviour!
 
Joined
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If you would like a copy of a annual Licence Agreement I can let you have acopy. In my case I organise all the maintenance of the fields (harrowing, rolling, hedge citting, fence and gate repairs) and the regular removal of the dung heep as that way I know it gets done. I also insist that all the horse poos are picked up each day without fail. As regards Ragwort I spot spray it to kill it off down to the roots and then collect it in plastic bags and dispose of it.
Yes please! It would be great to have a look at your licence agreement. Thank you so much :)
 

maisie06

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31 March 2009
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3,811
Hi all,
Looking for some advice.
We moved into our house last year and inherited a horsey tenant. The tenant has 3 horses, and she rents the use of our 8 acres of fields, a stable, a secure tackroom, a shelter, a hard standing, running water and electricity and 24/7 access to our land through secure gates. She does not poo-pick, or maintain the fields/fences in any way, other than picking ragwort. She said when we moved in that she gets the fields chain harrowed twice a year - we've been here 14 months and seen it done once. We have no written agreement with any terms.

We inherited the rent of £10 per week per horse, but having been in a year, concentrating on the house, we have now turned our attention to the fields. From our research, we have found that we could be charging £30 per week per horse, that seems to be the fair market rate for our area. A cheap rent is £20, but that seems to come with other responsibilities such as the poo picking and fence repair etc.

Yesterday, we told our tenant that we wanted to talk about increasing the rent and putting a written agreement in place. She went apoplectic, accusing us of being greedy and hating her and threatening us with legal action. And then telling us how much the horses and the land mean to her.

Has anyone else had experience of increasing rent? We are looking to charge £20-£25 a week, which is still seems to be on the generous side for the facilities she has access to. Is that reasonable to you experienced horsey folk? And is there anything she can do legally to stop us putting up the rent? I don't think that there is, but want to have all bases covered. The tenant does try to use our horse inexperience against us!

Many thanks in advance.

£30 per week per horse sounds about right, and that's DIY as in SHE does the poo picking!! I think after the outburst I would be looking to give notice, especially being threatened with legal action... I think £20 per week is too little. Is there anything in the sale paperwork about your sitting tenant??

I would check if your home insurance has a legal helpline and contact them or Join the british horse society and access their legal helpline. She could be a nightmare to remove as she's had a good thing for a long time and is probably trying it on with you.
 
Joined
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£30 per week per horse sounds about right, and that's DIY as in SHE does the poo picking!! I think after the outburst I would be looking to give notice, especially being threatened with legal action... I think £20 per week is too little. Is there anything in the sale paperwork about your sitting tenant??

I would check if your home insurance has a legal helpline and contact them or Join the british horse society and access their legal helpline. She could be a nightmare to remove as she's had a good thing for a long time and is probably trying it on with you.
Nothing in the sale paperwork that I recall - it seemed to be a fairly informal arrangement with the previous owner who was elderly and infirm. I will double check though. Thanks.
 
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