4th March 2009, 06:06 PM #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
CA Lien Law and the Sending of Notices21703. If any part of the rent or other charges due from an occupant remain unpaid for 14 consecutive days, an owner may terminate the right of the occupant to the use of the storage space at a self-service storage facility by sending a notice to the occupant's last known address and to the alternative address specified in subdivision (b) of Section 21712. The notice shall be sent by certified mail, postage prepaid, or by regular first-class mail if the owner obtains a certificate of mailing indicating the date the notice was mailed.
According to this section it is perfectly legal to send pre-lien and lien sale notices by regular first-class mail as long as we get a certificate of mailing from the post office. I remember reading this awhile ago but sort of forgot about it until recently.
We are trying to save money some money here and there. We have been sending these notices by certified mail and at $5.32 (postage + certified fee + return receipt) a notice it can add up. Not only that we get the majority of them back so it seems like a waste of money. I guess what I am getting at is has anyone done it this way? Also, we have been sending a return receipt. It doesn't say that we have to send one of those. It seems to be more of a safety net. Bottom line: sending by first-class mail is just the cost of a stamp and $1.10 for a certificate of mailing receipt.
Any thoughts on this?
4th March 2009, 07:02 PM #2
Daniel- the difference can certainly add up. We don't do that many lien notices month to month, maybe on average I do 2 or 3 a month on our 400 units. From my perspective, I like the urgency and importance a return receipt certified letter shows to the tenants when they have to sign for something. I think it makes them feel like it is more "legal" and threatening to have to sign for a certified letter. Often times I won't hear from the tenant until the certified letter shows up, even after sending multiple regular mail statements.
For the extra $10 or $15 it costs me, I think it is well worth it. If you were doing many liens a month though I could see where there could be some real savings.
4th March 2009, 10:59 PM #3
We send the Lien via certified - no return receipt.
This runs us $3.12 -- we send out about 10 to 20 of these a month.
I think I feel safer doing it this way -- sure we could save $30 to $40 a month, but like Storman said it makes the tenant see the urgency of the letter.Wayne
All arguments can be resolved ... with high explosives and Humor!!!
5th March 2009, 02:00 PM #4Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
- san diego, ca
we send out the whole package cert, return reciept.
we do quite a bit in our chula vista location (5 to 10 a day) but we also
have 1200 units and are located 5 miles from the mexican border.
we get alot of people that do not pay until the last minute.
it costs us alot but the return reciept and certified has saved us in court before.
i like to have the added security of the post man signing for our certs.
5th March 2009, 03:19 PM #5
As always, contact your company's attorney to ensure that you are following the letter of the law. What follows is simply a layman's interpretation and is not to be construed as qualified legal advice.
That said, there are some things to keep in mind if you are going the "cheap" route and sending out the pre-lien letters by first class postage with a certificate of mailing. Primarily, the two options offered to the owner in 21703 will lead to different rights granted to, and responsibilities imposed upon the owner, under subsequent subsections of the code. It is important to understand these impositions and explore whether your company's policies are legal when venturing out on the various limbs of this decision tree.
If you have chosen certified mail for the delivery method of the pre-lien notice, then in section 21705, you are entitled to the remedies found under subdivision a) therein. Namely:
(a) If the notice required by Section 21703 is sent by
certified mail and the total sum due has not been paid as of the date
specified in the preliminary lien notice as the termination date,
the lien imposed by this chapter attaches as of that date and the
owner may do all of the following:
(1) Deny an occupant access to the space.
(2) Enter the space.
(3) Remove any property found therein to a place of safe keeping.
(b) If the notice required by Section 21703 is sent by regular
first-class mail with a certificate of mailing and the total sum due
has not been paid as of the termination date, the lien imposed by
this chapter attaches as of that date and the owner may deny an
occupant access to the space and enter the space. The owner may not
remove the occupant's property until not less than 14 days after the
termination date, during which time the occupant may regain full use
of the space by paying the full lien amount.
A potentially dangerous pitfall is hidden in subdivision (c), where it states:
If the notice required by Section 21703 was sent by
regular mail with a certificate of mailing, the notice of lien sale
shall include a statement that the occupant may regain full use of
the space by paying the full lien amount prior to the date specified
in this paragraph.
5th March 2009, 04:51 PM #6
And what happens to the 14 day waiting period if the CSSA's plan regarding the Opposition to Lien goes through in June or thereabouts.
CA is an odd bird and a pain in the posterior. Lawsuits are pricey so we spend the $5.00+ on each and every lien letter. In the long run, it is a lot cheaper than getting sued!
Besides the fees imposed by the notices are designed to cover costs.
My 2 cents worth.Gina 6k
Cochrane Storage dot com
Morgan Hill, California
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I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.
5th March 2009, 06:53 PM #7Junior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
Yup Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested here, its exactly what judges want to see if you ever get there.
23rd March 2009, 05:51 PM #8
I send the liens certified also, but I will send it regular mail as well, just in case they decide they won't accept the certified...
I'll do anything to get my point across, though! Somehow, someway, I'll MAKE THEM READ IT...
lolThe customer isn't always right, the trick is making them think they are!