Garage Rental to Wood Shop Hobbiest

3 Replies

Hi everyone,

I just closed on my first property (yay!) and have a 3 car garage to rent out.  One unit is included in the rent of one of the tenants living in the house, I'll be using a second one, and the third I will need to find a new tenant.

After putting it online for a day I received a ton of interest, and the first person to call me was a woman who collects and restores antiques.  She said she'll mainly be using this place for storage, but will come by time to time to sand and stain some pieces.  

My concerns/questions are the following:

  • I'm sure that staining and finishing liquids are highly flammable and combustible.  
    • Should I allow her to keep a small amount of these in the garage if she keeps them in a non flammable trunk?
    • Should I require she takes those home with her after every trip and not keep them stored in the garage?
  • I'm sure the work she will be doing will produce some smells that will carry over into the other units (there are no dividers)
    • Should I require here to do all work with the door open?

On the other hand, I can simply tell her that after further consideration I cannot rent to her.  I have at least 4 other people waiting for the spot to open up, so it can be filled with someone who wants to work on their car or store their ATV.

Please let me know how you guys would handle a situation like this.

I'd go with an antique collector over a backyard car mechanic any day. There's not that much to refinishing furniture and it can be done in a safe, clean and tidy manner. She said she would occasionally do furniture restoration right? It's not like she's setting up a furniture stripping dip tank and in the business of refinishing furniture. Have an open and honest communication with her about your fears.  I've refinished many antiques in my garage/workshop and it isn't a big deal. The products used are less flammable than the gasoline stored in a lawn mower. There are some paint strippers that are non-flammable and odor free.

I rent a shop (much larger than this) that I use for my service business as well as storing and working on my classic cars. The one stipulation the landlord had was that I wasn't permitted to operate a car repair business, which I was fine with. The fact of the matter is that it is a garage and people store flammable materials in garages. If you rent to someone for storage of their ATV or boat there is a good chance they will do a tune up and oil change in there. Honestly though if she is willing to get a covered metal can for rags and a metal cabinet for supplies I don't really see a problem. If you're really concerned with people doing work in there then remove the outlets and lights, it's no guarantee but will really cut back on prospects who are looking to use it for working on things. 

Keep looking,, no to the furniture person,, paint over spray on 1 car and your in trouble..even with seperate stalls the spray paint will waft in between stuff and will cause trouble. 

No to car mechanic,, accidents liability while working on cars.. he'll always have the door open and it will look like war zone. leftover oil, YUK

Just cars, no storage unless you are prepared to heave all the left over stuff into a dumpster when they don't come back.

It's a garage,, Not a shop your not insured to have someone working in it and that will cause issues

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