Procedure when unit up for auction contains a vehicle

tbaginski Registered User
Good morning.  Recently signed up to join the forum since I find ALOT of helpful information.  Wanted to reach out to anyone who has faced this dilemma.  We recently had a unit up for auction that contained a vehicle (Corvette).  We knew the contact info for the tenant, however he was unable to make payment on the unit as he was undergoing an IRS audit and his assets were frozen.  Fortunately, he was able to pay up, but wanted to see how others have handled situations where a vehicle is in a unit up for auction.  I have tried to contact the DMV in PA numerous times, however, cannot reach anyone for an answer on our state protocol.  Do any of you require a copy of tenant's vehicle title when they move in?  Also, if the unit was deemed to be "abandoned" because we could not reach tenant, what is your policy.  Unfortunately, we have never asked tenants for copies of their title when they move a vehicle in, and we have MANY.  Any advice would be appreciated.  


  • themage
    themage Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2022
    We do require a copy of the title. Otherwise, when it comes up for auction, you would have to request a report from the DMV containing owner and security interest holders. The interest holder's claim generally precludes the storage lien, so you would have to contact the interest holder and see what they want to do with it.

    After that, it really depends on the State's rules. Where I am, we can auction a vehicle so long as all necessary parties have been contacted, the auction process has been followed, and the requisite DMV paperwork is filled out. (a Posessory Lien Forclosure)

    This is a little simplified, but it is the way I understand our process.
  • tbaginski
    tbaginski Registered User
    Thank you for your input.  The owners have been considering requiring a copy of the title at time of lease signing, and based on your comments as well it appears that more and more facilities are now requiring it and I can see why.  Our dilemma is that (and you are correct), it varies according to state rules.  Actually talking to someone at the PA DMV has been unsuccessful so far.  The information I have managed to find validates your comments that, if we have a copy of the title, it definitely would make the process go so much smoother and quicker.
  • MamaDuke7
    MamaDuke7 Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    The PA Self Storage Association could give you the info you need, too.  
  • tbaginski
    tbaginski Registered User
    Thanks for responding.  I did reach out to PSSA initially, however in PA the Department of Motor Vehicles has higher jurisdiction so they referred me to them.  Unfortunately, it was impossible to reach a live person at DMV when I couldn't find the info on line. So....we then contacted our company attorney who advised us they would have to "research".  However, in the mean time, tenant paid up.  
  • tbaginski
    tbaginski Registered User
    I realize this is an old post, but thought people who responded might like to see how this resolved.  The tenant continued to stay current on their rent, but owners still wanted the tenant OUT.  So...last month (December) we advised tenant of a day and time that we would have a car hauler on site to remove the vehicle from our premises and take to storage which would be at tenant's expense.  Tenant was advised that per our lease provisions we had permission to do this and that we also consulted our attorneys to verify that we could legally do this.  Tenant was also surprised that we could remove the vehicle without actually having the keys which by the way they had lost.  Anyway, 2 days before this scheduled removal date, tenant showed up on site with a car hauler and I watched the vehicle leave the premises.  Hurrah!

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