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  • Car Left Behind

    A tenant has left behind a car in one of our units. We have tried to contact him but no luck. We had the VIN and the license plate ran and it is not stolen.

    My question is do we just auction off the car, just like we would do a box of clothes?? I ask because while the car is not in the best condition and I am not even sure if it runs, I am concerned about getting rid of it if not done properly.

  • #2
    What state are you in?
    And what do your states lien laws say about selling a car in a storage unit?
    Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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    • #3
      What Lady said-but if your lien laws aren't clear, call your state self storage association to ask.
      "The comeback is always stronger than the setback."
      Mom, Navy Vet, genealogist and voracious reader
      Always sunny in California

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      • #4
        Be VERY careful in "selling" any vehicle!
        Also going forward, in order to make the process easier, if this ever happens again there are steps that you can take!

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

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        • #5
          If you sell the car you need to verify that it was actually owned by the person who rented the unit. In Iowa if I don't check that before the sale, and it belongs to someone else I will not be able to transfer title following the sale.

          The recent update in the lien law in my state allows me to have vehicles towed if a unit enters our lien process. So I have an option, if the car does allow me to sell it, then I can call a tow company and have it removed.

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          • #6
            After checking with your State Association, contact a local salvage yard. They process DMV paperwork for this all the time and you can probably hire them to help you get clear title to auction the vehicle.
            Gina 6k
            twitter.com/GinaSixKudo
            VM: Four-Oh-Eight- Seven-Eight-Oh-Eight-Oh-Seven-Nine
            [email protected]



            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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            • #7
              Originally posted by KrisinWA View Post
              What Lady said-but if your lien laws aren't clear, call your state self storage association to ask.
              What is "state self storage association"? Is this something you have to be a member of to talk to them? I am from Ohio and have never heard of them.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sparkey View Post

                What is "state self storage association"? Is this something you have to be a member of to talk to them? I am from Ohio and have never heard of them.
                Every state does have it's own storage association.
                Yes, you pay to join.
                You can Google your state's lien laws.
                Give me a minute and I will and come back and post on the boards.

                If you have to ask how to lien sell a car, more than likely you do not have steps in play to do it quicker and efficiently.
                Hold on and I will be back!
                Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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                • #9
                  Here is a link to Ohio's self storage lien law's.
                  You need to know them inside and out.

                  https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/chapter-5322


                  (c) The owner is planning to hold a sale at auction of the personal property that was stored in the self-service storage unit with that motor vehicle or watercraft, in which case the motor vehicle or watercraft shall be towed prior to the auction.

                  In this clause it does state that you can tow the vehicle prior to the auction.
                  However, I am in NJ and my laws are very similar toy yours but having said that we ALREADY have in play the following;
                  In our notice of default ( I call it a demand letter) the NOD letter states that the unit in question is in lien status due to non payment of rent.
                  The NOD will list the unit #, the entire balance due (at time of notification) and the demand that they pay within X amount of days OR the sale will go on.
                  In the NOD letter it will state that IF there is a motor vehicle or watercraft in the unit after the X amount of days go by and the tenant does NOT pay I can call the tow yard on the 15th day and get it towed!
                  Also keep in mind that I had to find a local tow yard that will tow off of my property. I then had to order a huge metal sign as the WARNING to everyone that if there is any unauthorized vehicle on my lot ABC towing will tow, this sign lists their physical address and the phone number.
                  But remember you MUST have this warning sign BEFORE you can do it this way!

                  Think about when you go to your local WalMart's or any big mall, think about how you have seen this signs in your town and this is what you will need to do.

                  In this instance, I would try and call around to local competitor's and ask for guidance that way.
                  You do not want to it wrong!

                  Good luck and please, come back with what you find out AND what you are going to do!
                  I'm pretty sure we have some Ohio folks on the boards and we may hear some chatter today!
                  Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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                  • #10
                    https://www.ohiossa.org/Advocacy/Lien-Law

                    I found this too!
                    Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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