Horses for loan ~ do I need legal advice?

Horses for loan ~ do I need legal advice? from Newnham & Jordan Solicitors

By: Newnham & Jordan Solicitors  28/06/2011
Keywords: solicitors

Horses for Loan – Do I need legal advice?
There are many horses for loan available all over the UK. For the owner, the horse and the borrower, it can often be a perfect arrangement. However, it can also go badly wrong, often due to unforeseen circumstances, with lengthy disputes taking place. Where a potentially valuable competition horse is involved, handing over the responsibility of its care and training to another person is a major concern. But the borrower faces just as many concerns having to commit to paying livery fees, the on-going costs of upkeep not to mention the huge amount of time spent in training and competing.

Typical Horse Loan Disputes
Typical forms of dispute involving horses on loan usually centre around disagreements over the loan period, the standard of care the horse is receiving and who pays for vet’s fee’s, shoes insurance etc. Sometimes it can be a simple falling out between one another (including the horse!) and this possible outcome is very rarely discussed before the loan begins.
Legal disputes regularly occur as a result of owners promising a commission to the borrower upon the sale of a horse but never following through with the money. There have even been cases where the borrower refuses to return the horse or the owner disputes ever owning the horse in the first place, refusing to have it returned! Unfortunately this list of equine disputes is not exhaustive!

Horse Loan Agreement ~ Essential
For all these reasons it is essential that a proper is made dealing with every element of what has been agreed by both sides. A standard horse loan template can provide a useful starting point. However, such contracts fail to take into account the individual circumstances, of the parties involved. The horse loan agreement should be in writing and signed by both parties involved.

What should be in included in the Horse Loan Agreement?
A typical agreement should always include:

  • The loan period
  • Inspection rights
  • Insurance
  • Vets, Farrier, worming and livery fees
  • Competitions – allowed / costs
  • Where the horse is to be kept
  • Terminating the agreement
  • Dispute resolution

This is just a basic starting point but there will be other specific issues that need to be considered, for instance the horse may have specific care needs. All this needs to be understood and agreed, then written into an individual horse loan agreement. When these specific requirements are written into a proper contract it can save all the distress of lengthy legal disputes as it is notoriously difficult to prove such requirements when only discussed by word of mouth.

So when you next see that” Horses for Loan” advertisement it would be very wise to seek the services of specialist with the practical experience to help you make sure all areas are covered properly for the benefit of the borrower, owner and the Horse. A contract tailored to the specific needs of the owner and borrower can seem overly official, but no-one would regret having taken professional legal advice from the outset should things descend into a dispute.

Unlike most things equine, it is not expensive to get a proper horse loan agreement set up by a and money well spent should the unfortunate occur.

Keywords: solicitors

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