NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: renting out a field  (Read 10776 times)

acresswell

  • Joined Apr 2011
renting out a field
« on: August 21, 2011, 05:39:56 pm »
I know nothing about horses except that they're big, with 4 legs, eat some grass, occasionally need shoes and some people like to watch them jump over things. That's why I need your help...! ;D

We own a field in an area which has plenty of bridle paths and horsey people. A lady knocked on my door this afternoon and asked if she could rent some of my land for a few months, to give hers a rest. She mentioned the possibility of £50/month and the fact that she has 2 horses. At the moment we're not doing anything with that bit of land except run around on it with the dog and give it an occasional mow, though we do have long-term plans to have some sheep. We want to keep some of it for us and the dog, but might be willing to let her have some of it for a few months. 

The area of land that we would consider letting is about an acre, and some of it is quite steep.  There was some ragworth on it earlier in the year, but I spent a day uprooting the weed.  The grass is pretty long in parts (ranging from a half an inch where the rabbits eat it to about 18 inches) There's a stream and a partially derelict stable block (the storage bit at the side is OK but too low for a horse, the bit for the horses only has half a roof and there are lots of tiles waiting to fall down on some unsuspecting horse).  The fences and hedges are a bit run-down (which is why we haven't got the sheep yet!) There's a gate to the road.

So...
1) Does £50/month sound about right (we're in the West Midlands between Stourbridge and Bromsgrove) or should I be asking for more?
2) Anything I should be aware of / do?
3) Is an acre likely to be enough for 2 horses?
4) Is there a standard horsey grass-letting contract I can download from anywhere?

Thank you


Voss Electric Fence

ellisr

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Wales
Re: renting out a field
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 11:51:17 am »
Little things to watch out for.

Make sure they are aware they have to clean the field regularly and removed the manure from the land
If the horse breaks a fence or hedge they must repair or replace
If the ground gets wet (holds water) then restricted grazing as horses can chew up land very quickly if it is wet
make sure the gate locks and that the horses are insured as a gate opening onto a road leads to easy theft
Don't know the horse breed but they may live out all year so don't need stables or could be stabled else where
Block off access to the old buildings to stop the horses getting curious and make the owner aware of this and that the horses should not be allowed access.

acresswell

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: renting out a field
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2011, 06:13:46 am »
Thanks, ellis r. All useful and if we decide to go ahead I'll definitely follow them up

Anyone with any thoughts on 1), 3), 4)?  I ought to get back to her in the next couple of days...

Thank you


acresswell

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: renting out a field
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 06:18:20 am »
Just thinking about the manure... this could actually be of use to us. 
We're planning to renovate a section of veg patch  :brocolli: :peas: :carrot: :spud: so it would be good to have the free fertiliser without having to fetch it from elsewhere!

Would it be reasonable to ask them to stack it in a particular location (bottom of the hill, just outside the area that they'd be using) and leave it for us to use?

ellisr

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Wales
Re: renting out a field
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011, 07:56:30 am »
they would probably be happy to do that, I have an ex racehorse and he alone produces a barrow load every 2 days so this can mount up very quickly, so maybe ask if they can leave some but not all. I use some of my winter stable manure for hot beds which is brilliant I can grow things that normally you wouldn't in the UK climate.

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: renting out a field
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2011, 09:36:25 am »
Get a contract signed , this doesn't have to be a legal document a quick computer generated one will do outlining when you want her to leave and any other rules and regs you want adhered too, then you both sign it and each has a copy. Beware we have friends who are still trying to evict a tenant who was only grazing their land for a few weeks , she is still there one year on and the RSPCA are chasing her for welfare. I don't want to frighten you but these are things you need to be aware off. Good luck

monkeysox

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Colchester, Essex
Re: renting out a field
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2011, 04:52:18 pm »
Be careful with planning laws - do you know the what the land is classified as? don't get caught out grazing horses on land that is of the wrong use. We had this problem with our acre attached to our house.

Fronhaul

  • Joined Jun 2011
    • Fronhaul Farm
Re: renting out a field
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2011, 05:06:12 pm »
If they are large horses then the chances are an acre isn't going to be enough to last them any time.  And if they are little Shetlands the owner would be mad to put them somewhere where the grass is that long.  Take this one slowly or you could end up repairing a lot of damage.  Poaching by horses is a pain to repair and if they are large and shod they will poach the ground badly in the autumn.  So much depends on how responsible this person is.

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: renting out a field
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2011, 05:18:35 pm »
How do you find out?

Be careful with planning laws - do you know the what the land is classified as? don't get caught out grazing horses on land that is of the wrong use. We had this problem with our acre attached to our house.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: renting out a field
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2011, 07:31:29 pm »
Be careful with planning laws - do you know the what the land is classified as? don't get caught out grazing horses on land that is of the wrong use. We had this problem with our acre attached to our house.

What do you mean exactly? If you have equestrian premises, they are a different land use category from say agricultural land - but you need to have stables, an arena etcto be classed as equestrian. Grazing a couple of horses on farm land for a limited period shoudln't be a planning issue.

One acre isn't enough for two horses for a long period but will be fine for a short time to allow other land to rest (although we've got three ponies on two acres plus some sheep). Lifting manure is a must, but yes, you can get some benefit and the folk will be glad to get rid of it. When I had a horse in livery a year ago, it was £15 a week per horse, although we did have access to wash facilities, tack store, arena etc.

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Fife
    • Facebook
Re: renting out a field
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2011, 08:13:56 am »
As it's just temporary to rest her fields and you have no current use for the land but would use manure, I'd say go for it and 2 on your acre would be fine for now but not thru winter so ask how many weeks she wants and suggest to end of normal grazing season max, 31 Oct, but she may just want a month to get in and top, spray and get autumn growth for winter.

Agri grazing I'd pay £80-100 per acre per year but horses are often charged a weekly rate so to me £50 pcm sounds ok for what you describe as it is only temp, saves you tidying the land, gives manure (yes ask them to poo pick at least weekly tho many go daily, and provide an area for the dungheap as it'll take a year to rot to usable manure.

It may be she could offer a regular useful land swap if you get on - her horses and your sheep could cross graze occasionally to benefit both your lands and reduce worms for both species..

And if she messes you about in any way at least you've only x weeks pre-agreed - maybe agree a one month period initially to see how the grass goes, with extension or later repeat visits by further discussion..
Barleyfields Smallholding & Kirkcarrion Highland Ponies
https://www.facebook.com/kirkcarrionhighlands/
Ellie Douglas Therapist
https://www.facebook.com/Ellie-Douglas-Therapist-124792904635278/

 

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