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  • Personal items

    Hi all, I hope all of you are doing well. I recently auctioned a unit and there were personal items in the unit, pictures, birth certs, etc.. I have reached out to the Tenant to let them know that I have them and she never got back to me. I have emailed her twice and left messages on her phone. There are so many pictures of her family and birth certificates etc. Question is how long do you hang on to them? Normally when I call the tenants in this situation they come by or get right back to me. The strange thing is, is that the Tenant begged me not to auction it and she promised to pay several times but could never come up with the money so I know that she wanted what was inside of the unit so I am surprised that I have not heard back from her.. Any suggestions?
    "A Dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself".

  • #2
    Your state storage laws should say how long you have to hold onto those, in WA it is 6 months but as a generous precaution we extend that to 8 months. This happens a lot, the promises and the begging. I still have boxes of unclaimed personal items from last year, I should go and dispose of them I guess. I just hate to shred old family photos- its not like these are digitally made and can be reproduced, no these are OLD, black and white types.. I have even tried to reach out to any family members I can find on Facebook. I document all the ways I tried to communicate to pick them up and keep that in your paperwork files for the tenant.
    Last edited by wc1974; 6th March 2020, 01:58 PM.
    You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....


    • #3
      I only keep 30 days. Have you tried contacting an alternate contact? I am not on Facebook but have you looked there to contact the tenant?
      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


      • #4
        I keep them for 2 weeks. Once I have auctioned, I have given them more than enough free storage. If it's important to them they come right away. Otherwise, it's not important and they won't come no matter how long you hold them.


        • #5
          Our state lien law does not address this at all, however we will typically hang on to personal items for 30 days. I agree with MamaDuke if it is really that important to them, they will come and they will come fast.
          Stephanie Tharpe
          A+ Management Group, LP
          Nashville, TN


          TNSSA Board of Directors


          • #6
            Our state laws don't address it either. When I auction a unit they buyer takes it ALL. If it goes to auction the tenant does want it anymore. I don't want to hold on to any personal items. If they wanted them they should have paid the rent.


            • #7
              Buyer takes all. We do not even need or want to know what they bought.
              Personal items are a PITA. I once had a tenant ask if he could buy back items from the winning bidder. Never again. They will just keep saying what about this and that. I have asked bidders if they mind if I give the lien saled tenant their contact info. All say the same thing. NO! They all say it is more of a PITA to deal with them.
              Joe Krezdorn
              DAK Self Storage
              Leesport, PA 19533


              • #8
                We try to be "nice" with personal items and usually hold for 30 days, 9/10 times no one ever claims them. If you tell a winning buyer that "so and so would appreciate if you left their personal items" they pretty much always use it as a way to leave the trash they don't want with a few personal items scattered among the items so you get stuck with their junk still. Last one we did this for left me almost a 5x10 worth of stuff, the customer sent some "Friend" to come get the stuff and he was pissed as he had to fully load his car down. He wanted to just take some pictures he saw out, I told him if he wants back out of my gate he's taking every item that was left.

                I've tossed enough "irreplaceable" items in my years i'm immune to caring about them now. They want them they should of figured it out and paid for them. I had one auction buyer one time I passed the message along to that the customer would appreciate any personal items and all they did was laugh and say "f them, we have some beers and take turns tossing that stuff into a bonfire at the end of the day". Makes me think they worked storage for a few years.... lol


                • #9
                  Just follow your state lien laws and what it states in the lease and you should be fine. I keep a beat up 5X10 for the personal 'junk' that auction bidders leave behind. Old family photos, yearbooks, cremated pets, on and on and on - I toss the oldest to make room for the newest additions. Just be clear in your communication - the unit has been auctioned, you do not have to pay anything (depending on how you handle any deficiencies between the rent owed and the auction payment) so they do not think your trying to trick them, we will hold onto to the items for X number of days and then we dispose of them. You need to let them know you are not charging for the current storage of the items and just want to return them - they may think they owe for that. It is thoughtful that you are trying so hard to return the items - most 'normal' people would appreciate the effort, just remember to put a limit on that effort. Also I label or box all the items with name and unit number clearly visible and put in the 5X10 (even the total number of boxes) so that I give the correct number of boxes to the correct former tenant. Would hate to give private, personal information to the wrong person - with all the identity fraud.


                  • #10
                    Our lien laws specifically state we do not have to hold on to or protect personal items when auctioning a unit. If a buyer leaves them behind, we will make one phone call to the tenant. Generally they do not respond and we just pitch them.


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