Renting that horse property has a few more details than just renting out a house in the suburbs.
Among the items to consider are:
How many horses can the acreage support?
Does the tenant plan to use the property for a commercial horse related enterprise?
What kind of liability does the horse operation pose to the owner and the property manager?
What kind of legal restrictions are there on property type and use?
Is your property really horse-safe?
Well, the answers depend on a number of factors, the number of animals a particular property can support depends largely on where the property is and what the kind of land it is. Pasture land in the desert Southwest is drastically different than pasture land in the Midwest. Wooded land can support far fewer head of livestock than can properly prepared horse pasture.
Facilities are needed to accommodate livestock in some climates. Stalls for horses are a must in areas of weather extremes. Local codes may restrict numbers and types of animals on a certain property.
A commercial operation will require the proper zoning, signage and most importantly insurance.
Many communities restrict livestock by location, number of animals per acre and proximity to dwellings.
Horse-Safe, as a property manager you should know what constitutes horse-safe area. loose wires, ropes or scrap metal on a property pose a hazard to horses and other livestock. Sinkholes, poor fencing or other dangers can present a liability for the owner and the property manager.
An experienced equestrian property manager or ranch manager should take the time to point out hazards to the owner and suggest improvements that may make the property safer for the tenants livestock. While ultimately your lease should make it clear that the property manager and the property owner have no liability for the animals, the tenants activities or anything that happens on the property as a result of the tenants actions, you should still examine the property with liability in mind.
Many states have equine liability restrictions or even equine facility exemptions, you should make sure the appropriate signage is in place on each facility.
Managing equine facilities is a growing industry, as many owners are finding it difficult to sell at a respectable price, the option of renting is becoming more common. Many of our clients are either deployed military who want a renter to live in their home until they return or simply homeowners who do not wish to sell at this time.
requiring the tenant to provide proof of liability insurance for any commercial operation is a must! Horse operations are inherently dangerous and liability insurance must be a requirement of any equine facility.