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  • What to do if address of tenants are no good?

    Sent out notices through certified mail to those who are in lien status. What do I do if their letters come back undeliverable? I've tried looking them up on the courthouse website with no luck. I run a storage facility in Arkansas. Any advice would be great!

  • #2
    Make a note in your software, put the letter in their file and keep trying to reach them. Try doing a reverse phone number search and see if anything pops up. As long as you have proof that you mailed the letter the right way and at the right time, shouldn't be an issue to keep going forward with your lien process. If you belong to your state's SSA, reach out to them as well.

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    • #3
      Your state SSA should tell you that your lease should state that it is the tenant's responsibility to update their address and phone numbers. The state statutes say, I bet, that you are to send any notices to the "LAST KNOWN" address provided by the tenant. Have you tried an alternate contact for help. I never have an access list but they HAVE to provide at least one alternate contact. Again, you are under no obligation to, and I never would send any notices, to the alternate contact and that would not be a legal attempt to contact the tenant. They have likely abandoned the unit and have skipped. Have you cut the lock yet to see what is in unit. Lots of times when a tenant does this they also have stripped anything of value out of the unit and left you junk or trash. All attempts that have been met, as per the statutes, can stop if the assumed value of the contents do not reach the threshold of the state statutes. Then you can get rid of the contents as you see fit.
      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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      • #4
        What dreid said. Keep everything in their file and proceed with your sale. If you aren't required by law to do anything other than send a certified notice, you've done your job. It's your tenant's responsibility to keep you updated with current info. If you want to go "above and beyond" and try to contact them by phone, that's up to you.

        I currently have 2 tenants who will be getting lien notices at the end of the month. Neither has a good address and one doesn't have a good phone number (and no, I won't be calling the one with the good phone number). Oh well. I'll still send out the notices just to have the proof I "notified" them. I rarely do more than what the law requires. Not worth the time/effort.
        Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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        • #5
          Like DairyGirl says, sometimes going beyond what is required by law can bite you later if the tenant wants to go to court and then says you deviated from what the lease says. Calling the alternate shouldn't create a problem but, as recommended, document everything and save all paperwork returned by the post office.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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          • #6
            Just keep good documentation in their account (notes)

            Did you all know that in Facebook you can search by using a phone number!

            I LOVE doing that!!!

            If the tenant has a FB account and they signed up with their phone number you will find them!!!
            www.columbiastoragegroup

            Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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            • #7
              I put something like this in the notes - Lien notice returned by PO on 2/15 with 'return to sender' 'address not known' (or whatever is on the returned mail)
              An apple a day keeps ANYONE away if you throw it hard enough.

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              • #8
                You cannot document too much or save too many documents.
                "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
                  You cannot document too much or save too many documents.
                  CYA is a way of life in this business. We keep the files separate from other vacated unit files for the ones that got auctioned that way IF someone challenges it, we can access it fairly easy. It's a lot easier to open an envelope than dig thru a file box lol

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                  • #10
                    Yep, I have a whole separate drawer in the office that gets all auction/cert notices/abandoned unit paperwork. That is kept for 2 years and then gets filed away in the move out box and then at end of that year is put in our management unit. I can still find it easy if I need to. The boxes I put they move outs in are bankers boxes, so I can lay old leases down side by side, two at a time. Perfect fit on width and length. The 2 year old leases I just talked about are stood up on end in the box around the perimeter. They never fall over. Haven't had to dig for them but I don't want to have to go thru all the other leases to find it if needed.
                    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                    • #11
                      Like all have said follow your State Lien Laws as a minimum threshold. Definitely keep the returned Registered Letter and note it's return in your software. We often continue to send to the last tenant provided address as it states clearly in our lease that we will do that and that the tenant also has an obligation to keep us updated. Make sure you verify that there's isn't a missed address update, incorrect address entry or any error pertaining to the tenant provided address.

                      We also keep the returned Registered Letter sealed/unopened. This way if an account does eventually go to legal, it will submitted as evidence and at that time it will be opened and documented.

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                      • #12
                        It is very important to double check the tenants folder, a signed lease agreement, an intake form, if you use one, BEFORE even starting the process of lien.
                        Checks and balances.

                        1. If you use an intake form, ensure that the info the tenant supplied at time of move in is correct! Make sure nothing is misspelled and ensure that you are sending the mail to the correct address that the tenant supplied when they moved in.
                        Many times, we can use the address on their DL but then if you do use an intake form, the tenant has supplied a completely different address!!

                        2. NEVER open any returned mail. EVER. Record in tenants account notes that XYZ mail has been returned.

                        When I am mailing out late letters, rental increase letters, whatever kind of letter, I use an initial system and I record what letter I am mailing in the return address sticker.
                        If I am mailing out the lien fee notification letter, I then write the initials LFN on my return address sticker, if it's the 2nd late notice, I write 2LN.
                        That way if the mail is returned, I will know right away what letter is inside and can record it accurately.

                        When processing for lien/sale you must ensure that you are following your states self storage lien laws!!


                        www.columbiastoragegroup

                        Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Leticia View Post
                          Sent out notices through certified mail to those who are in lien status. What do I do if their letters come back undeliverable? I've tried looking them up on the courthouse website with no luck. I run a storage facility in Arkansas. Any advice would be great!
                          http://www.insideselfstorage.com/~/m...%20Statute.pdf

                          Here is a link to Arkansas self storage lien laws.
                          www.columbiastoragegroup

                          Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

                          Comment

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