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Unwanted items left behind

3021frank3021frank LARegistered User
I'm sure this is extremely common - What do you do when tenants move out and leave anything they don't want behind?  We do NOT supply a dumpster and there is none on the property.  So, people just leave their things in halls, in units, outside on the property.  We often have to hire someone to remove these things.  What does your company do?  TIA

Comments

  • OrkoceanOrkocean CARegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    If any items are left in the unit bigger than a coke can or something we can not see inside of we do not go in the unit. We contact the tenant to let them know they are not fully vacated until the unit is fully clean and empty with no lock. If they refuse/argue/hang up we will do it case by case. If it's very minor a pic will be sent to the DM for approval to clean it out. If it's quite a bit we go through the lien process with it, if it goes through the auction process and becomes a no sale unit THEN we can enter the unit and remove the items. Typically I find a local scrapper who will come take stuff when needed for free.
  • teamcapitolateamcapitola CARegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭

    We do things similar to @orkocean .. Call the tenant and politely ask when they are coming back to pick up their remaining items, and explain that they are sill in possession of the unit until everything is removed. We helpfully offer to remove the items for them, at a minimum $100 fee (and the hint that we'll go after them in collections); 90% of the time they come back and remove everything.

    Its easy to "shoot yourself in the foot" though... the mattress left in the unit of a unemployed, recently evicted person? almost a waste of time to go after, when the unit could be rented to somebody else, and the tenant doesn't have the means to remove the item(s) or money to pay.

    The case by case thing holds true; you have to be flexible and know when a fight is unwinnable or going to be too costly.

  • storagestation603storagestation603 NHRegistered User ✭✭✭
    @3021frank We don't have a DM or anything like that here. Just 2 of us running the show. So we call the tenant and tell them that even though the lock is off they still are considered "renting the unit" because they still have belongings left inside. If they don't come and remove it they will owe us another months rent; which is honestly just what we say to make them come and take care of their own trash. Its about a 50/50 chance they ever come back.  

    If we know it came from their unit & they are still present at the facility, we call them and ask them to come remove the trash from the facility within X amount of days. If they do not we then bring it to the dump and attach the bill to their next months Rent Charge. 

    In most cases like @teamcapitola said; they don't have the means to remove the items or the money to pay another months rent. So it becomes a waste of time, when you could just re-rent that space out to someone else. 
  • OrkoceanOrkocean CARegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    Exactly as @teamcapitola said.. Know when it's worth pursuing. If your facility sends to collection agencies that is something you can use to "persuade" them to remove the items. The biggest worry is you throw away something in a unit you think is trash and the person comes back stating it was some heirloom antique that's irreplaceable or what not and trying to sue you.
  • 3021frank3021frank LARegistered User
    I appreciate the feedback.  
  • i43storagei43storage WIRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    Frank - If they leave anything behind, we keep their security deposit.  B)
    Jean Marie
    I-43 Storage
  • 3021frank3021frank LARegistered User
    i43storge, we don't require a deposit.  Would you please tell me how your deposit system works? This is a new partnership, and they haven't required deposits but are considering it now.  What can you tell me about that process (if you don't mind)?
  • i43storagei43storage WIRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2018
    @3021frank I'd be happy to!  For us, it works like this:  We collect a security deposit at move-in (which is equal to one-month's rent).  The tenant gets that security deposit back at move-out if:

    - they have a balance due of $0.00
    - they have given us the 15-day notice of intent to vacate
    - there are no oil stains, garbage, items, the latch works, etc. (basically it is left as they received it)

    A lot of tenants like to think they can just pay the last month's rent with the security deposit - wrong.  That defeats the entire purpose.

    In our state, security deposit funds do not need to be in any separate bank account, so we could collect interest, spend it, etc.  We keep it on the books as a liability, however.  You'll want to check with your state statutes.

    Hope that helps!
    B)
    Jean Marie
    I-43 Storage
  • 3021frank3021frank LARegistered User
    Thank you so much.  We may need to implement something similar at our locations.  I appreciate your reply.
  • finger1foodsfinger1foods CARegistered User
    I call them and tell them we can not vacate until it is completely empty. bottom line. If they say that can't come back I say "It will go to auction and go on your credit report"  so far they have all come back. we do not want anything left behind. But, the truth of it is, I worked at other sites where the clients were not this good. I am in  a location with less issues. still issues but not too bad.
  • OutboxCharOutboxChar NCRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified ✭✭
    Our contract states there is a $250 cleaning fee. When they ask what that is, I say, "If you move out and leave stuff? We charge you a $250 cleaning fee. then we send you to collections.
  • i43storagei43storage WIRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    @OutboxChar Do you ever get people to pay that $250 or is it merely a scare tactic and something to add to collections?
    Jean Marie
    I-43 Storage
  • OutboxCharOutboxChar NCRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified ✭✭
    @OutboxChar Do you ever get people to pay that $250 or is it merely a scare tactic and something to add to collections?

    Scare tactic for us, so far. Managers that I've spoken to have used it successfully though.
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