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I think I have a sneaky tenant

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  • I think I have a sneaky tenant

    On 2/28 I rented two 5x10 units to a new tenant. I notice that as of 3/9 both units were still empty and he still had not put a lock on either unit. No big deal, a lot of tenants don't put them on until they put their stuff in the unit. I noticed today that one of the units has a lock on it. Interested in when he had come in, I checked the gate activity for his units. Nothing. Since I haven't rented any other units in that building, or area, the possibility of someone else accidentally putting a lock on the wrong unit is slim. Interestingly enough, this tenant's mother has a few units here. So, I checked her gate activity in case he's using her gate code instead of his. Every entry is her vehicle, and it never goes to the building, or area, his units are in. So, now I'm starting to wonder if maybe he is sneaking in somewhere at night and sleeping in his unit. Because I really had no need to check his units every day for a lock, I have no idea when it was put on...I just know it was somewhere between 3/9 and today. Without knowing when he's been here, it would take forever to watch hours of video in the hopes of catching him. The only thing I could think of doing was to change the position of the lock on his unit. I also took a photo of it. Now I have to check his unit every morning in the hopes of seeing it moved and go from there. If he is sneaking in and sleeping in his unit, he's out of here.
    Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

  • #2
    At my facility, all rented units have to be locked at all times, and if the tenant doesn't bring in an acceptable lock at the time of signing they have to buy one from us. The lease also states that if a unit is found unlocked, we will open the unit to make sure nobody is inside, then put a management lock on the unit and notify the tenant that they need to come in to re-lock it. And of course we document all this with photos. Unlocked units make me nervous.

    It's pretty strange that a lock would appear on one of the units and not the other, and no evidence of the tenant or his mother coming near it. Since you say you haven't rented to any new tenants in that block recently, I wonder if it isn't one of your current tenants who got curious about an unlocked unit. Maybe Curious George opened the unit, discovered it was empty, and then saw a golden opportunity to colonize some new space thinking nobody would notice.

    Hope you solve the mystery.
    You can tell a lot about a tenant from his padlock.

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    • #3
      Call the tenant in question.
      Notify him/her that they have not yet locked their units.
      Tell them that they now have 24 hours to lock th eunits in question OR you will lock them with your lock and deny access at the keypad.

      I know that it will be a hot minute for you to look at cameras...but I would!
      I would look at the camera angle that is most near his unit and then just go in reverse!
      Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by zsolt_sz View Post
        At my facility, all rented units have to be locked at all times, and if the tenant doesn't bring in an acceptable lock at the time of signing they have to buy one from us. The lease also states that if a unit is found unlocked, we will open the unit to make sure nobody is inside, then put a management lock on the unit and notify the tenant that they need to come in to re-lock it. And of course we document all this with photos. Unlocked units make me nervous.

        It's pretty strange that a lock would appear on one of the units and not the other, and no evidence of the tenant or his mother coming near it. Since you say you haven't rented to any new tenants in that block recently, I wonder if it isn't one of your current tenants who got curious about an unlocked unit. Maybe Curious George opened the unit, discovered it was empty, and then saw a golden opportunity to colonize some new space thinking nobody would notice.

        Hope you solve the mystery.
        I've never had a problem with a current tenant moving into another unit without telling me. I'm pretty good at knowing which units in a specific building are available to rent so a lock on one would jump out at me. Yes, it strange he only locked one unit and not the other. I don't even know if there is anything in the unit. There is an empty unit next to his and tomorrow I will take a ladder over there and see if there is anything in the unit. Maybe take a pic or two if it looks like something that could be used as a bed. I hate having to be on alert all the time until I catch them.
        Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by lady5563 View Post
          Call the tenant in question.
          Notify him/her that they have not yet locked their units.
          Tell them that they now have 24 hours to lock th eunits in question OR you will lock them with your lock and deny access at the keypad.

          I know that it will be a hot minute for you to look at cameras...but I would!
          I would look at the camera angle that is most near his unit and then just go in reverse!
          I'd have to watch video of every night from the 9th thru last night!! There's only camera with an angle directly to his unit and he can't hide from it. Unless he is climbing over the front out of view of any camera, I'll catch him eventually.
          Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

          Comment


          • #6
            My tenants get no choice in this matter. They rent the unit and immediately have to verify gate code is working and then put the lock(s) on the unit(s). If I see no lock and whether there are items in the unit or not, one of my facility goes on the unit(s). In this scenario I would have called the second day and put locks on if no answer and left a message that I put locks on and the gate code is locked out till they see me.
            "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

            Comment


            • #7
              I think I am going to start doing what has been suggested...units must be locked at rental, whether there are things in the unit or not.
              I've been out most of the evening, and upon coming home I decided to check the gate activity. Just in case. He was here from 5-5:30 this evening and used his code in/out. I watched him come in and leave on the camera. I've flagged his account as one to watch anyway, but it is possible could have come in and used the walk-thru gate during office hours, or on Saturday. Still, I will be keeping a close eye on him. I just have that feeling.
              Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

              Comment


              • #8
                DG, when you saw he was in, did you see if he put the other lock on?

                The reason I ALWAYS give for making the new tenant go put the lock on is this, "I need you to enter the NEW gate code at the entrance and exit to make sure they work so I don't have to worry about it if I am GONE from the facility and I need you to get used to driving to your unit so that when you come in with your belongings you don't get lost". "The facility can look different between night and day and also, getting used to taking lock off and putting back on and using the roll up door latch to protect your items".

                If I still get push back, then I will not rent to them. I know right then that the problems will escalate and realistically, the process of getting thru both gates and locking a door is 3-4 minutes TOPS!
                "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
                  DG, when you saw he was in, did you see if he put the other lock on?

                  The reason I ALWAYS give for making the new tenant go put the lock on is this, "I need you to enter the NEW gate code at the entrance and exit to make sure they work so I don't have to worry about it if I am GONE from the facility and I need you to get used to driving to your unit so that when you come in with your belongings you don't get lost". "The facility can look different between night and day and also, getting used to taking lock off and putting back on and using the roll up door latch to protect your items".

                  If I still get push back, then I will not rent to them. I know right then that the problems will escalate and realistically, the process of getting thru both gates and locking a door is 3-4 minutes TOPS!
                  I didn't check it last night but I will this morning.
                  Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We keep our units locked always. The only exception is for me to make sure security is really checking locks overnight.... I don't do this too often though. I do have a habit of checking locks 2 times daily though. I physically pull on each lock to make sure they are properly secured. It takes less than 20 minutes for the whole facility and I find it to be a best practice thing. It has helped me keep the property running as smooth as possible as I tend to catch things that are not right quickly.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Cylinder locks on every unit even vacant. We have never allowed a unit not to be locked. It could become a dumpster.
                      Joe Krezdorn
                      DAK Self Storage
                      Leesport, PA 19533
                      www.dakselfstorage.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dakselfstorage View Post
                        Cylinder locks on every unit even vacant. We have never allowed a unit not to be locked. It could become a dumpster.
                        I still have nightmares about this tuna can I found in an unlocked unit that had rice in it. Except it wasn't rice. Yeah...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had this problem back in November. Trust your gut on something like this and take time to look back at your security footage. My sleeper turned out to be hiding from his parole officer in his unit. Guess him and his wife didn't think that I would notice her dropping him off in the evening and picking him up the next morning.... Immediately evicted after police involvement and I learned that the police don't have to obtain a search warrant on an absconder!
                          razorback

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with the majority. Never, ever, ever leave a unit with no lock. If they sign a lease, they have 24 hours to put a lock on it. MY company lock stays on until they come to the office, show me the lock, then I escort them out to their unit and remove MY lock.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dakselfstorage View Post
                              Cylinder locks on every unit even vacant. We have never allowed a unit not to be locked. It could become a dumpster.
                              Heard of another facility that also does this. Great idea!!

                              Comment

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