Shared Garage issue in tenancy

2 Replies

Hi, we are renting an apartment with a double garage underneath.  We told the renter she could use half of the garage and we use the other half.  We do mention in the lease agreement that she can use the right hand side of the garage but this was all common curtesy really.  Anyway she put up a makeshift chicken wire to separate part and we have racking to separate the other, as her cats were coming over and messing all over!!!!  So now we don't have access to the light switch, and I also have paint in a cupboard over there.  I have been pretty good at not needing to go over there but have had to move her rolling unit about 5 times in the year. (only when she has been out too)

Anyway, I received a message saying that something had fallen and had broken and I am not to go over there without written notice etc etc.  She does pay the electricity over there too so I guess that is an added issue.

My question is, can she demand that?  The tenancy is for the apartment and we let her use the right hand side of our shared garage as a curtesy.  (she uses it for a car and all her extra crap) Her contract is up in 3 months so wonder if I should just wait it out and threaten to write write, use of the garage, out of the next contract if she is going to be ridiculous and assign an outdoor parking space only.  Plus I can offer a $1 every time I need to use the light??

Anyone had this issue?

I don't think you need to "threaten" anything. Either have an attorney draw up an agreement that she'll need to sign if she wants to use the garage, or don't let her use it at all. If she's going to be using the garage, and there are issues with you needing access to items on her side & electricity she's paying for, you need a written agreement. Just my opinion.

Through my career managing 1,000's & 1,000's of tenants nothing causes more arguments then common space. Whether it's the garage, the driveway, the basement laundry area. Tenants are always going to fight. The unique thing to your situation is you are the owner of the property & get to dictate the rules. 

When this lease is coming up I would simply give the tenant proper notice to explain the new rules. Those rules should exclude any garage access. If she doesn't like it she can move. Then find a new tenant with no garage access & move on. Not worth the hassle. 

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