Tenant Storing Affects on Rental Property

3 Replies

I purchased a multifamily and found out tenants are storing personal items in a detached garage that is about 100 years old, and in disrepair. The home inspection revealed severe insect infestation, broken windows, and damaged masonry, plus there is a makeshift set of stairs leading to a loft. The lease with the former owner does not state anything about storage outside of the unit, and my new lease starting Feb 1, 2020 states there is no storage about the property outside of the unit. I sent the tenants notice that due to structural and safety concerns, the shed was going to be cleaned out, then locked by landlord, and they should remove any items they wish to keep to avoid being discarded. I am sending a second notice this week, and in the meantime, got a text from one couple stating "who's going to pay to store my stuff?" In this case, am I required to provide storage to the tenants? I'm putting a lot of resources into necessary upgrades to the home, but am not going to salvage the garage. I'm concerned someone will get hurt/I will get sued, or they will translocate insects into the home.

The lease rules.  If the lease does not provide for storage facilities, simply advise the tenants that exterior storage facilities are not included in their current lease nor will they be in the future. I would reiterate that the garage was recently deemed to be structurally unsafe and that no one or anything will be allowed in it effective immediately.  I would also post a No Trespassing Sign on the garage and secure it as soon as it is vacated.  Give the tenants a firm date that their possessions must be removed. And, don't allow their problem to become yours.  They're renting a unit and if they had a side agreement with the last owner, that expired when the property was sold. 

Hang in there...and congrats on your newest acquisition.

Your new lease doesn't go into effect until February 2020. Until then, you can't do much. Just continue to keep the tenant informed of the pending change. One week prior to execution, give them notice that anything in the storage unit on February 1st will be considered abandoned property and you will dispose of it as you see fit.

That may not be legal but you're probably not dealing with rocket scientists and you're giving them plenty of warning.

Thank you for your replies. Nathan - I don't want to wait until the new lease starts because of the condition of the garage. Clean out of the garage by Seller (Estate) was a condition of closing. Tenants were notified, then asked for more time, so by the clean out December 1st, they will have been given 2 months' notice.

In the meantime, I found out almost all of it belongs to one tenant because he put his name on his belongings. The fact that he labeled his stuff says to me that he does not plan to remove anything, and will interfere with the clean out. (Backstory - I bought the house from my Dad's Estate - he recently passed away - They are bad tenants, and have a long history of paying the rent late and/or not in full, and they are in breach of this current lease with two dogs and other pets in the unit - They were put on notice about the pets too - so I'm the recipient of slews of horrid texts.

I'm hoping they will go on their own - they really need more space - 6 people in a two bedroom - but the reality is I will likely have to go through the eviction process. Just want to make sure I'm crossing my T's and dotting my I's with these two.