Garage tenant eviction

11 Replies

Hey Everybody,

Question here about what to do in the situation where a garage space had been rented to an individual for storage, no lease, not a commercial garage just residential, hand shake agreement. Months have gone by with no rent being paid. Tenant makes contact, then fails to follow through with payment. I'm at the point of just kicking them out of the space, but there is a lot of materials and personal property inside the garage. I know for a residence there are certain notices and time lines that need to be followed, but what about in this situation? This is not a residence and no one is living there, there is no lease either. Any help or guidance would be appreciated. I am not going to go through a lawyer, the rent is not much, so its not worth trying to drag them to court or collect back rent, and it would cost me more in attorney's fee's than it's worth.   

Give a 5 day notice, and then have a garage sale or auction. It's probably considered abandoned property, just like the storage companies do when they don't receive payment. In fact, get a copy of their rules and follow them.

I would look up the laws surrounding storage units in your location and then follow those. I am assuming there is at least some text message or email exchange, or maybe rent was paid by check. If there is any paper trail whatsoever, to be safe, you should not just take it without confirming its considered abandoned.

If you wanna get him out asap, I would consider telling him you will forgive the overdue rent in exchange for being out by end of month. if that doesn't work, offer to pay 1st month at a storage unit. (Basically cash for keys but much cheaper). That's assuming your local laws don't consider the property abandonded.

@Ray Harrell , Thank you. I will look into storage company rules, great idea!

@Andrew B. , Thank you. I will look into. Rent was always cash and they are actively using the garage, coming and going at least once a day, just not paying.  

im fairly sure yoh can change locks on a tenant that isnt paying. thats how storage units end up auctioning off units. just be careful if thats your path as the garage is right next to your primary residence. if its not a large sun, i would change locks and tell him he can have everything back when he comes with someone to clean out the garage.
Originally posted by @David Boroughes :

This is not a residence and no one is living there, there is no lease either. Any help or guidance would be appreciated. I am not going to go through a lawyer, the rent is not much, so its not worth trying to drag them to court or collect back rent, and it would cost me more in attorney's fee's than it's worth.   

I'm not a lawyer, but an oral contract is still an agreement of sort. The rental income might not seem like much, but if the eviction is not handled correctly, there could be a bigger price to pay if removing the items from the garage is seen as theft by the police.

@David Boroughes , I hope all is well. How did things end up with the rented out garage? Coincidentally, I’m having a similar problem and am looking at possible solutions. Fingers crossed that you got the situation handled! Best, Sean

How’s it going with this situation? I’m dealing with something very similar. @Dennis M. if you inherited a tenant from a purchase that has a garage tenant with no lease that was done on a hand shake from the previous owner, it happens. Though I’m not sure if David chose to have no written lease or not. 

@Sean Snider & @Stephen Barnabei   He ended up catching up with some back rent about a month ago, I'll probably have to chase him again this month, not a bad guy, I've know him 20 years, just a pain in the *** when it comes to making payments. I'll put up with it, even if he beats me out of a few months of a year... luckily this is not that much $ per month and I tell myself not to let it get to me...

@Dennis M. Yes. Handshake agreement, this is just detached garage space at a multi family, I wanted to collect some revenue, but only with guys I knew because I really don't think legally I could rent the garage spaces, the property is zoned residential not commercial and commercial use is not allowed without variances, etc. So these guys get cheap rent, and use the garage for only storage, come and go as they please and keep their mouths shut.