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To kick these people out?

(1000 Posts)
CompletePushover Fri 10-Jan-14 18:24:54

7 yrs and this is my first AIBU, and I'm so cowardly I've name changed grin

So... After years of renting crappy places dh, the 4dcs and I have finally bought a lovely house.

It's great. Needs loads of work doing on it. Lots of potential, completely neglected and now ours. The people who had it before us had some problems and had criminally neglected their animals. The house comes with a field.

Now begins the lovely story. A few years ago Some people passing by saw how neglected the horse in the field was and took it upon themselves to look after it. They did amazing things, built him a shelter, bought him food, trimmed his hooves, all of it.

The horse is a stallion and unbroken but of nice temperament. But it means he can be flighty.

Move on a year and one of the group has taken on most of the care and bought their own horse who now lives rent free in the field.

Two weeks before completion the owner tells us we will be inheriting a cat and that the horses are staying (he's gifted the stallion to the other horse owner)

So... We panicked until lovely horse person came to our door and seemed very nice, and we said they could stay until Easter and then we'd see (rent free).

This all seemed ok, but there have been annoyances: There's no where else to park but in our drive, when we want to wander around the field with the dcs we have to struggle through two horses and it's a nightmare, and now finally we have bought out longed for dog and I can't walk him on my field without someone with me because I can't carry a baby and a puppy and fend off the horses on my own, in December we were told they use one of our sheds for feed, And there are other people who are part of the group who have not introduced themselves to me, but who go on to my field regularly.

So this evening we've let the horse owner know that beyond the end of march we want our field back. At the moment I've used it twice since we moved in and I want to use it daily.

They're not happy. I tell a lie, one is not happy, the other is completely understanding.

I know they did a good thing, I know they put work into the field (shelter and fencing) but I also know they've had free pasture for 18 months in return, and I think it's become a picnic spot for them all.

AIBU? And should I be growing a backbone, because I'm already trying to think of a way to section off some of it, which I know would only end up delaying the inevitable? I'm also worried because I'm in no way insured to have this all going on on my property.

I want nice things for the people who have done good, but at the same time I want to enjoy my home. I also have PND and desperately want to be outside but can't cope with being around people. Just to throw that in there.

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 10-Jan-14 18:54:45

It's totally ungodly but 100% right - you are not being unreasonable. I'd never have managed 18 months, I'd have had lazy potato beds up and running in the first spring and would have sold the horse back to them. Or to someone else. Or cordoned it off and rented it to them.

Topseyt Fri 10-Jan-14 18:56:00

I know precious little about keeping horses or moving them around from one stable or pasture to another, but I think you have been very reasonable. The land is yours, and you are entitled to use it as you wish.

These two cannot expect to keep horses rent-free forever. That is taking the piss. All animals come with upkeep costs.

Would you consider allowing them to continue using the field if they were to rent it from you? With all legally binding agreements drawn up, of course.

The problem could be that you have no written agreement with these people. It sounds as if everything is verbal/tacit. I hope that won't cause too many problems when it comes to getting them off your land, because it also means there is no written exit/break clause either.

I would put in writing everything you want them to do, and the date you want them to leave the field. It still gives them a couple of months to find elsewhere for the horses.

DontmindifIdo Fri 10-Jan-14 18:56:36

Erm, haven't they been rewarded for their good deed with a free horse and free stabling for their other horse!?!

Put it in writing.

NigellasDealer Fri 10-Jan-14 18:59:02

nobody keeps horses for free!!
give them notice in writing and keep a copy.

CompletePushover Fri 10-Jan-14 18:59:15

Tops that is excellent advice.

Unfortunately (?) part of our mortgage agreement is that the land is not for business use (which is fine by us because we want to use it!) so even if we wanted to rent it out we couldn't with our current mortgage. Another reason we don't want them there.

Tailtwister Fri 10-Jan-14 19:00:31

YANBU, it's your field and you've already been more than generous.

From their side...they may have issues finding somewhere else as the horse is a stallion. A lot of stables I knew when I had horses (admittedly a long time ago) wouldn't accept stallions onto their yard due to the obvious issue with the mares and some thought them disruptive even with geldings. However, I could be wrong and someone with far more experience might disagree.

CompletePushover Fri 10-Jan-14 19:00:43

I am feeling very reassured that I'm not an evil barsteward.

Toecheese Fri 10-Jan-14 19:00:55

I think you are being very reasonable

Sparklingbrook Fri 10-Jan-14 19:01:04

YANBU. Is the cat nice?

Finola1step Fri 10-Jan-14 19:01:16

Just to add, YADNBU. You have been very fair, understanding and clear. Put it in writing, hand it to the more reasonable one.

Horses aside, you do not have to give complete strangers access to your land. For any purpose.

Christmascandles Fri 10-Jan-14 19:01:58

They have had a free horse , free keep for free horse and free keep for companion horse.
They must have known it wouldn't last forever and that maybe one day the field would have a new owner.
If it were my field, would give them notice, as you have done, and then padlock the gate at the end of the notice period. Irrespective of whether horse etc had been moved.
I doubt it will come to that though. Have you thought how you will keep the grass down when they've gone...?
Enjoy your field not jealous at all smile

CompletePushover Fri 10-Jan-14 19:02:20

Tail I do think they will struggle to find somewhere for him. I know they have tried in the past. I think I may be emotionally blackmailed with "he'll have to be put down" at some point.

Perihelion Fri 10-Jan-14 19:03:50

Agree you are right to give notice. However, be aware that there is a possibility that they may abandon both or just the stallion on your land. This becomes a grey area especially as the stallion was gifted ( paperwork? ) so proving who owns and is responsible for his welfare could get tricky. Google horse/equine abandonment and fly grazing, not just with regard to what may happen with these horses, but also to prevent others using your field for fly grazing or disposing of unwanted horses.

Tailtwister Fri 10-Jan-14 19:03:59

Sorry Complete I didn't want to make you feel guilty. Perhaps they could have him gelded? Aren't there horse welfare societies who could help with that or even re-home him? They DO have options other than freeloading off you. This horse isn't your responsibility, it's theirs.

NigellasDealer Fri 10-Jan-14 19:04:16

absolutely do not listen to any nonsense like that!
btw that costs too.....!
you sound really too kind.

CompletePushover Fri 10-Jan-14 19:05:00

Sparkling the cat is actually very sweet, she's an outdoors cat so no trouble (since dcs are allergic!)

I've got a tame farmer spare to graze it (not personally) and I want to get it plowed and reseeded etc.

Pixel Fri 10-Jan-14 19:06:40

The problem could be that you have no written agreement with these people. It sounds as if everything is verbal/tacit. I hope that won't cause too many problems when it comes to getting them off your land, because it also means there is no written exit/break clause either.

Any verbal agreement was with the previous owner surely? Unless it was somehow written into the conditions of sale that the people would be allowed to stay on the property (which would probably have made it virtually unsaleable anyway), then it has nothing to do with OP.
If it helps to show how very reasonable you are being OP, let me tell you that we were renting a barn and field (for money!) and the owners didn't even tell us it was up for sale. We arrived one day in the worst of winter to find a scrappy note pinned to the tack room door telling us they'd sold up and we had two weeks to get off.

Merguez Fri 10-Jan-14 19:07:07

We had issues with people keeping horses on our land and I would never, ever allow it again.

Stick to your guns, be firm, and have legal backup if necessary.

And do not listen to emotional blackmail either - people can get quite funny and weird about horses, in my experience.

CompletePushover Fri 10-Jan-14 19:07:31

Think he may be too old to geld now. Ultimately I think they genuinely care about his welfare and wouldn't risk him being hauled off to the glue factory. There will be a big padlock on the gate once they're gone

t3rr3gl35 Fri 10-Jan-14 19:07:58

I'm so incensed by the imposition put onto you that I have delurked and registered to post a reply. These people are taking the piddle, however good their intentions. They have - by fair means or foul - managed to acquire for free a horse and grazing, not forgetting your shed space to keep any extras. The previous owner "gifting" the stallion was a purely selfish act designed to relieve them of the responsibility for the animal - you do not deserve the burden. Don't get me started on the irresponsibility of keeping it entire - it should be gelded unless there is a valid reason not to, such as amazing bloodlines or athletic potential.

You could open the gates but you seem like a nice person who wouldn't seriously consider that, and for that you deserve a medal. You have bought a house and field - you haven't taken on somebody else's responsibilities .... and, having found yourself with another person's problem, you have given more than adequate notice that you would like your field to be yours and they should be damned grateful for that.

Nobody who owns or cares for horses would expect a lay person to feel comfortable in a field with an unknown quantity, and definitely not with a stallion, fgs! You have a right to walk in your field with your puppy and your toddler without worry, and I speak as somebody who has owned horses for a lifetime. Give them notice, stick to your guns and take control of your field. If they care as much as their lip service indicates, they will either castrate the bloody thing and get it into a livery yard, or find some other way of looking after it. Good luck and wishing you well.

CompletePushover Fri 10-Jan-14 19:08:33

Pixel shock so I'm super-reasonable! grin

CompletePushover Fri 10-Jan-14 19:12:10

T3rr thank you so much for that post. I very much appreciate it. I understand the stallion has excellent bloodlines but with the owner passing on and their dcs not being capable of care it had been all but forgotten.

He's nearly 30, I'm guessing the health risk of gelding him would be too high?

Meerka Fri 10-Jan-14 19:13:49

goodness me, you were entirely entitled to throw the horse off when you moved in. You've given them a long time, put up with another horse, struggled with parking and had strangers coming into your field plus it's difficult for you to use your own field with your own child and dog? To the point that in all this time you've only used it twice when you want to use it daily?

......... No, you are not being the slightest bit unreasonable. You've given them all this time and even now you're giving them 10 weeks.

Actually you're being rather imposed on.

PoshPenny Fri 10-Jan-14 19:14:58

What did your solicitor have to say about all of this before you completed? do you have a contract in place with these tenants? if you don't, I would be trying to kick them off ASAP before some bright spark lets on to them that if they refuse to go, YOU might PAY them to go away. You have enormous potential problem in that one male horse is entire, and they are likely to have a problem finding somewhere else that will take him. people in general don't like stallions. cue them asking you if he can stay till he's gelded. Get moaning and picking fault/nagging at every transgression however minor on their part until they get so fed up they go (hopefully). the parking, the random strangers, horse shit in the field, junk left about etc etc, not raking up hay...

StupidMistakes Fri 10-Jan-14 19:15:01

You are not being unreasonable, though they may have difficulty finding somewhere prepared to take on a stallion, and the reason they may have taken him on was because the costs were low so there is a chance to expect other people around over the next couple of months possibly viewing one or other of the horses.

The bottomline is its your field and any verbal promises from the previous owner are not legally binding to you, there was I assume nothing in the contract about the horses being allowed to remain.

You would also not be unreasonable to ask for an amount for rent of the field since you moved in, or since the notice.

Do put it in legal writing, and try to get contact numbers/addresses for the owners, so if they do not move their horses you can contact other organisations.

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