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  • 30 Day Notice - HELP

    Let me preface this, I am a new owner in 2020 and never worked at a storage facility until now. I am not a big dumb dumb, but I definitely am a work in progress and have much to learn. I already have a story book half filled with excuses. Oh, dear!

    BIG QUESTION?
    What do I do if I mail someone a 30 day written notice to vacate and they do not vacate?

    My intention is to no longer store the 5 boats and 1 car. I intend to build storage units where they are currently sitting starting May 2 if all goes well. So, I need them gone asap. I was waiting as a courtesy until the weather warmed up, so May 1 is the final date!

    1. Is regular mail adequate for sending the 30 day notice? It is much cheaper, so I ask this. If I must, I will send otherwise.
    2. Should I also include a daily penalty in the letter if they do not vacate or should I include a huge rate increase in that same letter or am I being dumb here?
    3. In Illinois we can legally tow vehicles for nonpayment after 60 days. I can't wait 60 more days. Can I tow them out of the building and leave outside on our property if they don't comply or can I tow them even though they aren't 60 days past since I gave them a 30 day vacate notice?
    4. What wording must I include in a 30 day vacate notice? I need to write up a template to use.
    5. While we are at it, if I give a tenant leasing a storage unit the 30 day vacate notice, would you handle it the same way?

    If it was your facility, what would you do knowing they need to be gone by May 1?


  • #2
    Biggest question here is what does your rental agreement say? This will dictate what steps you need to take. Usually anytime I terminate a lease and the tenant does not move out I will then put them through the lien process to extra cover my ass. Sounds to me that is not the answer you wanted, but that is what I would do

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    • #3
      It should be a certified letter-about $7 for every letter-to both tenant and any alternates, then just regular to any addresses that you dig up.
      If you don't hear anything, you can definitely move them to another space in the meanwhile. Then you have breathing room if they don't do anything in 60 days. Just document, document, document (take photos and have a witness) -also make sure you add locks/locking mechanisms on the trailers/wheels to avoid theft on your watch.
      If you're going to get inclement weather-cover them if you've moved them out of covered storage. It will only be for a couple of months and tarps are always worth their weight in gold if you need them later.
      My mgt company handles our termination letters so I can't help you there.
      Don't do a penalty (are they up to date or past dues?)
      Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

      WA State

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      • #4
        My first thought is to figure a way to keep vehicle storage, its another stream of income. Plus many of those people will sooner or later need a unit to store their stuff. You can always raise the prices until either they move out or you're making enough to not worry about it.

        Whats driving you to make the changes? The margins are much better with units but word of mouth is VERY powerful in a small town environment.

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        • #5
          Every state is different. Follow the lease and if in doubt contact you lawyer. My home office handles the notices, so I do not have any to share. Know the lease, live the lease. It will protect you.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Grizz View Post
            My first thought is to figure a way to keep vehicle storage, its another stream of income. Plus many of those people will sooner or later need a unit to store their stuff. You can always raise the prices until either they move out or you're making enough to not worry about it.

            Whats driving you to make the changes? The margins are much better with units but word of mouth is VERY powerful in a small town environment.
            That's a good thought!
            Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

            WA State

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            • #7
              Dad was charging some $20 to store a boat or car inside! Yes, units are much more profitable given that comparison. He calls those buckets of chicken at KFC. Each boat was a bucket. Seriously, dad was profitable after the first few people paid storage, so we can genuinely laugh at and with him. Now that I took over, I pay dad monthly, pay all taxes, insurance, and utilities, and then what is left is mine. So, those buckets of chicken aren't that appealing to me. I'm a numbers nerd, and that is why units win over the boat buckets!

              Question about boats/cars/recreational vehicles:
              Do any of you do outside storage? If so, is it covered? Does it need to be covered? Do you charge by the length or have a certain formula? I'd think outside storage spaces would need to be clearly marked? I have quite a bit of land I could possibly do it, however it would have to be uncovered. Reason, it requires money, permits, and alerts the city I am making more money.

              Thoughts?

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              • #8
                As mentioned follow your lease and your state statutes. If you are a member of the state storage association they might have forms and information available to you. If you are not a member, think about joining.

                I would really think about keeping them as tenants and creating an area for them. If you terminate them, so you can add additional storage, you will never have them as a tenant again or any people (in their circle of friends) that trust what they have to say. Plus, if they write reviews about being forced out to make room for additional storage - they will paint you as the bad guy and by default your storage facility.

                I have in the past non-renewed the trouble makers but only once a tenant that did not cause trouble and paid, pretty much, on-time. When I told him, he told me that it was bad for business to 'kick him out - a tenant that pays'. He is a landscaper and his 40' truck and trailer did not fit in a 30' space. It was creating a 'herd' mentality, where other tenants were starting to 'creep' past 30' or just come in the office to complain. This occurs every once in awhile, when landscapers buy new equipment - they usually buy the same size or larger - but want to stay in the same size spot. I gave him that last month for free, to help pay towards another spot somewhere else, and I helped locate two 40' spots at a different location (I non-renewed 2 spots of his) as this can be a challenge in our area. I wanted to be able to say or relate to anybody (another tenant or a review) that we value our tenants and we do not take the decision to non-renew a tenant lightly, we provided beyond the required notice, we did not charge that last month of rent and located 2 spots, side by side, at another facility. Did it hurt a little to lose that rent, of course, but remember this job is not only about the numbers - you build relationships (and not just business relationships) with your tenants.

                We have 40 mixed-size uncovered spots with no on-site amenities (no wash station or drop station, etc) and they are rented, almost, 100% of the time - easy money - you gotta love HOA's. I vacated one and 1 hour later had it rented (love the double-dip - previous guy paid through the end of the month and new guy paid pro-rated through the end of the month) - guy drove up, said he wanted to vacate, I said I need this form completed, he hooked up and left and had a walk in 45 minutes later and rented it. Did not have to sweep or clean any oil build up.

                Our two sizes of spots are 11X30 and 9X20 - pull through - that are clearly marked. If you decide to have spots, just locate them with enough room for 'poor' drivers to make turns, etc without hitting any buildings or light poles or the vehicles/trailers in other spots. Some facilities have pull thorough, some have angled, some have back in - this all depends on your available space and the 'flow' of traffic in your facility. You can Google map other facilities that have spots and see what works best and see if it works for you.

                Your lease should cover most everything you need in regards to a rental but we have a vehicle addendum that needs to be completed and we require a copy of the title and registration and insurance (for cars/trucks/motorhomes). This is in case, there is a lien holder and they are still making payments.

                You should also have a firm book for accountable mail (for your lien letters, etc) - whatever is required in your state if you plan to send the non-renewal letters. We are allowed Certificate of Mailing (USPS) and for 4 letters or more I use the firm book and for 3 letters or letters or less, I use PS Form 3817 per USPS staff.

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                • #9
                  KeepHauler... Thank you for the taking the time to go into detail about your operations for outside storage and suggestions. It certainly gives me something to think about as I move forward. Thank you,thank you!!!

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