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  • Tenant Bidding on Unit

    Thoughts on this would be appreciated. Our other location is having an auction on June 1 and the tenant of one of the units has informed them she will be attending and bidding on her unit...she owes just over $600. It's a public sale so she can't be barred from attending. As far as bidding on her unit, while I don't think it should be allowed, I don't think they can stop her. What's the best way to handle it? I know the other bidders should be informed, and they can proceed from there however they want. And if she starts getting unruly or things get out of hand, she can be asked to leave or escorted off the property. I told them they should be prepared for two scenarios: 1. she wins the bid and only takes what she wants from the unit leaving them to either sell again or dispose of it; 2. she wins the bid but doesn't have the cash. This one's easy, though. No cash, no unit (and no waiting until she gets the money "later") and it goes to the next highest bidder. Anything else I might be forgetting?
    Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

  • #2
    Do you use an auctioneer?
    Who will be conducting the sale?

    In the past, this has happened to me.
    We did use an auctioneer at the time.
    What I did was contact the auctioneer before his arrival the day of the sale.
    Informed him that we may have a tenant who might be bidding.
    So he said that when he comes to the office, he will check the log-in sheet and look at me if I were to give him the "nod" he would know that the tenant was on site and signed in.
    He then started the bid at her past due balance! Or at least something more near the balance due...if they owe you $600. then the bidding starts at $450. or even $500.
    Also, how many other units will be up for sale that day?
    Do all the other units first, make this unit last.
    He/she may get discouraged and leave.
    Also, you must stress to this tenant the sites rules as far as what the winning bidder MUST do.
    Such as the $200. CASH deposit on top of the sale price!
    YES! I said $200. (Usually, it is $100. but if it is bigger than 10x10 I reserve the right to increase the deposit!
    Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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    • #3
      I would tell her that if she would like her unit she is welcome to pay the balance. In the past we have made offers to help the tenant get their things. We never want to see someone lose it all. I would also tell her though she could attend the auction a bid by her of less than what is owed will not be accepted for the unit. An example of a deal we made in the past would be all rent paid, late and lien fees waived. Adding to it that she must remove all items in 48 hours. 100 cleaning deposit, cash only!

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      • #4
        Make a move out now deal as fast as possible as Tercelet1 suggested. You can not forbid the tenant from attending a public auction. I had one once, our auctioneer stressed to her that she had to have the cash on her. She said she did etc. Well, you can guess where this is going... she did not have the money so it became quite the scene. The unit went to the second highest bidder, but the auctioneer literally ran out to the street to catch him before he left.

        If you are really concerned about a tenant's behavior you can always request a civil standby from your local Law Enforcement agency. Give them as much advance notice as possible.

        One last thought, if you make a deal to vacate with the tenant, part of the agreement should be that they show up with a vehicle large enough to clear out the entire unit in one fell swoop. Plus, only give them access during office hours when you are there to witness. Delete the gate code so you have to let them in or out. This gives you the opportunity to check the unit, dumpster area etc. and check for any damages before they leave the property.
        Gina 6k
        twitter.com/GinaSixKudo
        VM: Four-Oh-Eight- Seven-Eight-Oh-Eight-Oh-Seven-Nine
        storagebizhelp@gmail.com



        You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
        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.

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        • #5
          This: $200 minimum deposit in cash and only refundable if the least she does is empty out the whole unit. If she doesn't want to sweep, let it go. Start the bidding at a level, on her unit, that gets all rent and late fees and any other major fees you may have. You have the right to start a bid at where you want to and you also have a right not to accept the bid and roll the unit to the next auction. If you really need the unit, sell it but do not budge on the deposit. I would state up front, before the auction even starts, that the deposit amount will be $200 and that one of the bidders is the tenant. I bet she thinks she will get the unit for around $100.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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          • #6
            Although we tell the customer when they rent the unit that neither they nor their family can bid on the unit it is not actually in the rental agreement so I guess they could legally come to the auction. I would try to contact her and offer her some kind of buy out letting her know that the unit will be sold close to what is owed but if she paid XX cash and moved it that same day, leaving nothing in the unit or at the dumpster and removes the lock then we would call it even. Since we don't get much at the auction this might be the best way to get rid of her while collecting more money.
            The future depends on what you do in the present.

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            • #7
              If she is there have the auctioneer put a reserve on the unit of $600 or have the storage facility credit bid it. If that is the high bid sell it later when she is not there.
              Dave (Woodee) Scott

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              • #8
                No auctioneer, they do them themselves. I don't know how many other units are being sold that day. I wasn't sure if hers should go first or last, but last is a good idea. She might see they mean business and not be willing to take her chances. We did not talk about a vacate deal so I will call tomorrow and mention that. They may be willing to go that route if they think she will be a problem. Requiring a deposit is a good idea as well and they may already to that, not sure. I did mention starting the bidding at a specific amount to help discourage her from continuing but I think they would have to do all the units that way to prevent her from thinking it was being "rigged" against her. I also think mentioning to "everyone" before they get started, it's cash only and if you don't have the cash, the unit is offered, right then, to the next highest bidder. If she doesn't have enough, or any, cash on her, she loses the unit.

                When talking to the facility manager today, he said he has the feeling she is going to bid whatever she has to to win the unit, but ask if she can pay "later". He already said the answer will be no and he'll offer to next highest bidder. He doesn't play that game.
                Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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                • #9
                  When I did live auctions I always had a meeting with all bidders before we walked on to the facility. That is when I read rules, regulations and policies and told them in no uncertain terms that it will be that way and nothing else. cash only, deposits, pay now, empty the whole unit.....no changing in mid stream. Those that can't hang do not get on the facility. I also made them all look at me and verbally agree to all the terms. There was never any room for a misunderstanding.
                  "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                  • #10
                    We once had a family member as the winning bidder on a unit. We didn't know this (different last name, not on lease). They come in to pay the auction fee due, and mistakenly tell us, basically asking for the key to the unit. We then accept the money, and tell them the remaining balance due. Guy throws a fit, we offer to refund the money and accept the 2nd winning bid. Guy throws a bigger fit, then pays the balance due in full to prevent the stuff from going to someone else. Sometimes you just shake your head at these people. We got our money, they got their stuff so it worked out.

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                    • #11
                      I do not understand, why would there be a balance due after he paid the bid amount. Maybe I am missing something.
                      Dave (Woodee) Scott

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dave Scott View Post
                        I do not understand, why would there be a balance due after he paid the bid amount. Maybe I am missing something.
                        Example: Auction bid was $300. The tenant owed $400, thus $100 balance still owed on unit.

                        I wasn't about to let them get away with being sneaky.

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                        • #13
                          If it is like when I did live auctions, one of the things I covered when I talked to the group of bidders is that we did not want or allow for the auction unit tenant or family to be at or bid on the unit. If the family member sneaks in and does this then is found out, I would do the same and get all the money or I would do what I am allowed to do and accept the second highest bid and get it done. I for one would be very tired of the "entitlement crowd" thinking they can get away with crap like that.
                          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                          • #14
                            We specifically list on all of our auctions that we reserve the right to decline any bid for any reason or relist the unit. We also state that any family member, friend or other acquaintance of the tenant is not allowed to participate in the bidding.

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                            • #15
                              So if the tenant isn't willing to make a deal to get her stuff before the sale, it sounds like it's ok to let her attend the sale, just not let her bid on her unit.
                              Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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