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  1. #1
    MTexas is offline Junior Member
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    May 2009
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    Default Tenant bidding at their own auction?

    We just had a past due tenant call the office and ask when we plan to auction his stuff, and we explained our procedures and the lease to him. He went on to say, "I've heard of people that show up on the day their stuff is being auctioned, and they just bid on their unit themselves, and they get their stuff back for much less than they actually owe."

    Have you guys ever dealt with this? Any way to combat this?

    I've always wondered when tenants will figure this out! Our auctions are a waste of time, and I try very hard to avoid them. I'd rather negotiate a settlement, but if tenants start doing this, I lose all my negotiating power.

    Love to hear everyone's thoughts.

  2. #2
    Iamkathleenj is offline Senior Member
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    Daytona Beach, FL
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    We always tell customers that 1) they are not allowed to be on property @ the auction and 2) if they send someone to do it for them they can. BUT I also let them know that the unit sometimes (not a lie) goes for close to what is owed and the remainder goes to collections. If they want to make a settlement that would be their way to go since they would get their stuff. They pay & immediately remove their items the same day leaving nothing behind.
    The future depends on what you do in the present.

  3. #3
    Sandra is offline Senior Member
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    I generally tell the tenant that the person in charge of the auction sets our bids and we are after the balance owed. I then proceed to tell the tenant that if they would like to bring me a Cash settlement, chances are they will get their things back much cheaper this way than trying to out bid the pros so to speak. I would prefer the buy out agreement to an auction any time. This usually works and I am better for it because we all know that 9 times out of 10 we do not get what is truely owed. Another thing is that if the tenant wants to come and Bid they can I can not discriminate, however , because they are the lease holder of the unit in lien I will leagally have the right to persue them for the remaining balance and if they work out a buy out agreement with me for the amount I am asking them to settle on and vacate,I will not report to credit or persue further collections. That works like a little gold charm Sometimes it is about complicating their simple solution I have also found that tenants who do this know the system and my personal feeling is that they are abusing it. Remember that you want to include the fees it cost you to run the auction as well , mention that also.
    Lovin it.

  4. #4
    MTexas is offline Junior Member
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    I think in Texas, we cannot stop them from bidding. Also just found out this tenant is a part-time manager at Public Storage, so he definitely knows what he's doing and is taking advantage of the system. Let me know if anyone has ideas. Thanks

  5. #5
    Autodoc's Avatar
    Autodoc is offline Mod eMeritus
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    Jamestown, ND
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    Always remind them that the balance will go to collections and ruin their credit.
    Some of them don't care about their credit so they can be a little tough to convince.

    We tell them (when they call) that they will not be permitted during the auction, even thou I can not deny anyone coming in for the auction (as long as they are over 18 and follow my rules)

    I do however have an "ace in the hole" I have a few "auction regulars" that can spot someone trying to buy their stuff for cheap and will drive the price up! I have never asked them to do this, as this would be unethical.

    Had one "lady" (???) trying to buy her stuff back "cheap" --- she got it for about $50 less then what was owed and I laughed my butt off after the auction! The "regular" kept looking at me, smiling and winking as he bid her up! This unit was full of crap and would have normally sold for about $20!
    Wayne
    Jamestown, ND


    All arguments can be resolved ... with high explosives and Humor!!!

  6. #6
    Ian M. Johnson's Avatar
    Ian M. Johnson is offline Senior Member
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    Stillwater, OK
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    We have the regulars of course. They're the only ones who win anyway at our auctions, so it's not too big of a concern.

    We also throw out the tenant if they try to show up for the auction (or anybody on their access list). I only had to do it once. The guy tried to make a stink about it, but one of my regulars is a cop and was kind enough to escort him off the property. My regulars do swap meets and flea markets and are genuinely concerned when a tenant is around. Some of our guys have been threatened and otherwise harrassed, and I don't stand for it. I feel like I have to take care of the bidders. They really are doing me a service, even if their practice resembles that of vultures.

    We've also got a collection agency that I threaten with, but to be honest, that collection agency is worthless.
    Consistency- It's only a virtue if you're not a screwup

  7. #7
    tnsd's Avatar
    tnsd is offline Senior Member
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    Dunlap, Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autodoc View Post
    Always remind them that the balance will go to collections and ruin their credit.
    Some of them don't care about their credit so they can be a little tough to convince.

    We tell them (when they call) that they will not be permitted during the auction, even thou I can not deny anyone coming in for the auction (as long as they are over 18 and follow my rules)

    I do however have an "ace in the hole" I have a few "auction regulars" that can spot someone trying to buy their stuff for cheap and will drive the price up! I have never asked them to do this, as this would be unethical.

    Had one "lady" (???) trying to buy her stuff back "cheap" --- she got it for about $50 less then what was owed and I laughed my butt off after the auction! The "regular" kept looking at me, smiling and winking as he bid her up! This unit was full of crap and would have normally sold for about $20!
    LOVE IT!! Building a relationship with your regulars is key here. We're in a very small town and my regulars will frequently tip me off to related familiy members of the tenant long before I realize it. They too usually do my work for me and drive up the bid as necessary.
    Melissa M Roberts, CSSM
    TNSSA President 2014
    STORAGE DEPOT, Facilities Director
    Dunlap, TN

  8. #8
    palmettostorageFC is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Tenant bidding at their own auction?

    We do NOT allow a tenant to bid on their own units at auction. PERIOD. Our company also does not "bargain" once it reaches the point of auction. The company will, however, accept 3/4 down & set a pay in full within 30 days or it's back to the auction block & no special payments deals. We do everything we can to work out the problem before it gets to auction but we feel if they wanted to pay, even via a payment plan, to save their stuff, they should have done it before auction day. Philosophy is same as if a house was foreclosed on; bank won't let you bid at auction on your own house and get it cheaper! Besides, having a tenant on site at auction can become a problem. NC law allows us to sell even if the tenant has made payments but isn't pd up by auction time; we don't do that if a tenant has been earnestly working to made good on the debt. They know going into any pay arrangement that if they stop the payments, all bets are off (unless they can PROVE to us that they really did encounter a dire emergency; a few have and did and we kept on working w/ them). Those dolts who make 1 or 2 partials thinking they've "done their share" (one actually said that to me!), then quit must then either pony up the full balance or their stuff is sold.

 

 
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