Tips for Finding a Rental Property with Land for Farming and Horses

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Finding a home to rent for you and your human family is one thing. But what if you have horses or other farm animals you need to accommodate? While it’s much harder to find large, rural properties to rent, it’s not impossible!

Searching for a home with land for farming and/or horses requires you to go through all the necessary steps of a regular rental, with a few additional checks on top. Provided you do your research and understand the local regulations, you’ll be able to secure a property that both you and your equine companions will love.

Search online and in-person

Start your search online through a rental website such as Rentola to see the type of properties that are available in your preferred area. Remember, you’ll probably have to set your budget a little higher than normal due to the space required for your horses. It may also be a good idea to get in touch with a local realtor as they will be the first ones to know about horse-friendly properties becoming available. 

Location, location, location

Usually when looking at rental properties, it’s the proximity to work, school, and the necessities of daily life that are most important. But if you own horses, the size and suitability of the land for keeping animals is what should be driving your location search. In some jurisdictions, large blocks are incredibly difficult to come by, particularly close to urban centers. So you may need to broaden your search and consider living in a more rural community

Understand the local rules and regulations

Local zoning laws will play a big part in determining whether you can or cannot keep horses on a rental property and the possibilities of farming that land. Some rental listings will identify the “workable land” of the property, which refers to the amount of land that can be used to grow crops or rear livestock. You may also need to check how many animals you are permitted and any rules around the disposal of manure. Real estate agents in rural areas are usually clued in regarding local rules and regulations, so don’t be afraid to put any questions you may have to them. 

Consider the available water supply

Nobody wants to be hauling water around their property to hydrate their horses, so you want to ensure that there are plenty of access points around the property. Water may be available via on-site wells, tanks, or town connections, so double-check before making any applications. Irrigation is also something to consider if you intend on growing crops, as it can be an incredibly time-consuming task if you end up having to water by hand. 

Know your non-negotiables

Aside from having plenty of space for your horses to roam or fields to grow your crops, there are probably a few other “must-haves” that you are looking for in a rental property. These might include a certain number of bedrooms to accommodate your family or having multiple storage sheds for agricultural equipment. Make a list of your “needs” (the things you don’t want to compromise on), as well as the things you would ideally like your new home to offer. 

Have your finances in order

As with applying for any type of rental property, you need to know that you can afford to pay the rent each week…and be able to prove it! Most agents/landlords will want evidence of your employment and income so that they know you will be a reliable tenant and they may even do credit checks looking into your financial background. In addition to the ongoing rental payments, you need to consider additional costs such as security deposits, utility rates, and paying for the transport of your horses from their current place of residence. If you need to purchase new appliances or furnishings for your rental home, ensure you have sufficient funds to do so. 

Gather your application documents

When you put in a rental application, you will be asked to provide several documents, in addition to proof of income/employment. These can include things like references from former landlords who can vouch for you being a good tenant, as well as character references from current or former employers. Most real estate agents will also require photo identification as part of the application process and proof of your current address. Without these documents, the chances of being successful in your rental application are slim and you might risk losing the property to another horse-loving individual.

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