I'm going to be renting out a 2 car garage in Minneapolis to someone other than one of my current tenants (current tenants didn't want to pay extra for the garage). I'm curious if anyone has experience doing this in Minneapolis and can provide some guidance. My questions are should I run a background check, do I get a security deposit, and what type of contract / lease agreement should I be using?
@Jon Loca you absolutely want a lease. Can you imagine the nightmare of not having one? What happens if the stuff is stolen, the garage is damaged, the person stops paying, etc. And yes you also want a damage deposit large enough to motivate them to clean out the garage or to cover some damage. Yes, you want a background check. You don't want to rent your garage to someone who has proven they won't pay or has been convicted of cooking meth. I don't know the type of lease but I would suspect a mini-storage lease would be a good place to start. I recommend checking with @Brad Schaeppi to get his opinion.
@Tim Swierczek is correct. The garage is no different than the house. The person renting the garage is on a full lease with the “garage only” spelled out without any additional parking or storage outside of the walls of the garage. Hours of access or times working in the garage should also be restricted as they could interfere with tenants. Also any hazardous materials stored will need landlords approval. If someone has bad credit, or criminal record they still can’t rent the garage. Be sure to have a solid core side door with a deadbolt so the your renter doesn’t get broken into.
Garage rentals are pretty popular and common.
@Jon Loca I have done it at a property before and can send you a copy of the lease I used at the time. I did not get a legal review of the contract and beleive I put it together myself a few years back but I can send you a copy if you message me your email address. I looked at it again and think it addresses most of the things you would want to address in the contract.
Thank you all for the feed back. James I wrote you a message with my email address.
Couple things you will want to spell out:
1. Driveway access. Are your tenants allowed to park in front of the garage? What happens if there is a car in the way when your garage renter needs to move some stuff?
2. Whether or not they can use the garage as a shop and/or place of business. Your property is likely not zoned for this but a person who is renting a garage for a shop is not necessarily going to disclose this to you either. I would make sure your lease addresses this.
3. Power. Who is going to pay for electric on the garage assuming it has power? Can't expect the tenants in the house to foot the bill so you may have to take over paying electric and figure out a amicable means for charging electric.
4. Heat. You may want to specifically say what sources of heat are allowed in the garage, if any. You don't want someone incorrectly installing a wood burning fireplace or having open fires to keep warm in the winter.
5. Noise. You may want to put a restriction on when the person has access to the garage, say between 8am and 8pm. You don't want someone out there running a grinder at midnight pissing off your renters and neighbors.
6. Security. Who is responsible if the garage is broken into. Renter required to get insurance? Who is going to replace the door, etc. I have had many garages broken into the last few years.
7. Whether outside storage is permitted or if it has to be confined to the garage.
Last I would try to figure out why they are looking for your garage over a rental at a storage facility. Maybe you are cheaper, maybe they are trying to setup a repair business.
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