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  • Vacates Without Notice Hurts...

    The past few months, I have had at least three people vacate without any sort of notice. When I question them about it before officially vacating them, I hear more often, "My rent was only $100, what does it hurt?" I don't usually argue with them but do remind them they signed a contract to give a written notice when moving out.

    But, what I want to say is, "What does it hurt?...
    How about the opportunity to put some new concrete down...install a couple of new lights...pay property taxes...put food on my table...pay the utility bills so you have a temperature controlled building...etc."

    When you rent a unit, fulfill your contract. And, if you can't remember what it says; call, email, send a pigeon. Do something to find out before just skipping out on rent.

  • #2
    Unfortunately that happens at every facility that I've worked at. We have signs posted around as a reminder to give us a 10 day notice.
    Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

    WA State

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    • #3
      I drill it in at move in that a notice is expected and is part of the legal and binding lease agreement. Train from the beginning. There will still be people that are of the entitled masses that will do what they want anyway. I have stepped up to a person moving out when owing rent and locked the door and locked out the gate code.
      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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      • #4
        I've NEVER required a written (or any other kind) notice in over 35 years. Occasionally I'll have someone stay over a day or so but it has been rare. If I don't hear anything from them I lock them out on the 6th.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
          I have stepped up to a person moving out when owing rent and locked the door and locked out the gate code.
          While I understand the feeling towards these thieves (because that's what they are - trying to get free rent without authorization is no different than stealing from a store in my opinion), surely you'd be violating your contract by locking them out before the contract says they will be locked out, no? I understand that they may be intending to violate the contract, but I don't think that justifies us doing the same. It sucks, but I don't see any other way to ethically handle it besides verbally reminding the tenant that they owe rent and sending them to collections if they move out and fail to pay.
          Last edited by RMRSS; 12th November 2019, 03:59 PM.

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          • #6
            I can lock down any unit if I see something that is not right, grief from tenant and if dodging my questions. I am not just limited as to when we lock for being late. According to statutes we can lock the first day late. As I have said many times, I am nosy and ask a lot of questions. If I follow what you said then if I find out a tenant has passed but is current, then I can't lock it either till I get the proper paperwork.

            After all, the lease states that they have to give me at least a 7 day notice of move out. This is all covered at move in. If they don't like it they can rent elsewhere. This has only happened 2 times, right after I took over and told tenants that I would not credit back late fees or allow move out owing money. I don't cater to or bow down to entitled people, at all.
            "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
              I can lock down any unit if I see something that is not right, grief from tenant and if dodging my questions. I am not just limited as to when we lock for being late. According to statutes we can lock the first day late. As I have said many times, I am nosy and ask a lot of questions. If I follow what you said then if I find out a tenant has passed but is current, then I can't lock it either till I get the proper paperwork.

              After all, the lease states that they have to give me at least a 7 day notice of move out. This is all covered at move in. If they don't like it they can rent elsewhere. This has only happened 2 times, right after I took over and told tenants that I would not credit back late fees or allow move out owing money. I don't cater to or bow down to entitled people, at all.
              Yes, you always remind us of that, and I'm not suggesting you "cater" to anyone. That's not the issue here. I'm simply concerned with following the law. If your state's self-storage laws allow you to lock the tenant out simply because you suspect they may be dishonest, then 1. I'm very surprised and 2. go for it. Our state does not allow us to lock someone out until after a certain day of the month. We would be violating the contract if we locked them out before that.

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              • #8
                I remind of that because it is a very large PITA to deal with for all of us and answers so many questions. My state says I can lock a unit at one day late. If I have a move out at anytime before the rent is due, no skin off my nose but after they owe rent then they are "stealing from me".

                Remember, I am making a statement about entitled people and not advocating for anyone here to follow my lead or blindly accept a "don't cater to" attitude. I constantly see questions about problems at facilities that have already been talked about in many many threads. A new manager/owner will ask those questions but so many times it is someone who is experienced. If we don't start from day one training the tenant then we keep reliving these problems.

                I am far from perfect. That man died a long time ago BUT I learn and retain, either by experience or by listening to others.
                "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
                  I remind of that because it is a very large PITA to deal with for all of us and answers so many questions. My state says I can lock a unit at one day late.
                  But it sounded like you were saying you could lock it even before that, right?

                  I can lock down any unit if I see something that is not right, grief from tenant and if dodging my questions. I am not just limited as to when we lock for being late.
                  Are you sure your state allows that? That seems terribly subjective. Tenant gives you an attitude so you slap a lock on their unit? If you haven't already, you might want to check with a lawyer who specializes in self storage law because that just doesn't seem right to me. Again, I'm 110% with you on not wanting to cater to entitled people, but I don't want to wind up in legal trouble either.

                  As to you locking them out because you suspect they are going to move out without paying for that month's rent, that could only take place on the 1st day of the month, because obviously you're going to lock them out on day 2.
                  Last edited by RMRSS; 12th November 2019, 09:09 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I thought this would be clear already. At this facility and at many others on here, if we see a tenant smoking and they will not put it out, see them sleeping in the unit, throwing trash around, causing problems with other tenants and any other list of problems that violate a lease initialed and signed by them, they can be locked down and only have access when we allow or they get a notice to vacate and we unlock the unit when they show up to get out. The OP told of a scenario where someone(s) were moving out after rent was due and not paid. That is a violation of a lease. Would I physically push them and lock them out, no. But if I can get in there and lock the unit, even if they are loading items up, I damn sure will. That is where the entitled masses come in that you don't like me talking about. It is another example of it with a cherry on top.

                    Can I lock a tenant out for telling bad jokes, NO! Can I lock them out for not giving me a Christmas present, NO! Can I lock them out for driving a car I don't like, NO! Can I lock them out for their political beliefs, NO!

                    Can I lock them out for breaking facility policies, rules or regulations, you but I can and bet I will. Allowing it to happen is what breeds further actions by them. If they are willing to follow what they agreed to at move in then we will have no problems but when they think they are the "inmate who is going to run this asylum", well that is not going to happen for my safety and my tenant's safety. Each scenario requires steady thinking and a reaction, to the good or the bad. I can say this about my facility, I am coming up on almost 3 years with no auctions. I am also coming up on my 4th month in a row with ZERO receivables at the end of the month. Let's put it this way, MY TIGHT SHIP DOES NOT LEAK!

                    It doesn't work for everyone or everywhere but for me it does. We all have opinions and I always welcome yours and everyone else's opinions.
                    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
                      I thought this would be clear already. At this facility and at many others on here, if we see a tenant smoking and they will not put it out, see them sleeping in the unit, throwing trash around, causing problems with other tenants and any other list of problems that violate a lease initialed and signed by them, they can be locked down and only have access when we allow or they get a notice to vacate and we unlock the unit when they show up to get out. The OP told of a scenario where someone(s) were moving out after rent was due and not paid. That is a violation of a lease. Would I physically push them and lock them out, no. But if I can get in there and lock the unit, even if they are loading items up, I damn sure will. That is where the entitled masses come in that you don't like me talking about. It is another example of it with a cherry on top.

                      Can I lock a tenant out for telling bad jokes, NO! Can I lock them out for not giving me a Christmas present, NO! Can I lock them out for driving a car I don't like, NO! Can I lock them out for their political beliefs, NO!

                      Can I lock them out for breaking facility policies, rules or regulations, you but I can and bet I will. Allowing it to happen is what breeds further actions by them. If they are willing to follow what they agreed to at move in then we will have no problems but when they think they are the "inmate who is going to run this asylum", well that is not going to happen for my safety and my tenant's safety. Each scenario requires steady thinking and a reaction, to the good or the bad. I can say this about my facility, I am coming up on almost 3 years with no auctions. I am also coming up on my 4th month in a row with ZERO receivables at the end of the month. Let's put it this way, MY TIGHT SHIP DOES NOT LEAK!

                      It doesn't work for everyone or everywhere but for me it does. We all have opinions and I always welcome yours and everyone else's opinions.
                      There's really no need to get irritated or take anything personally. I'm just asking questions. I'm not attacking you or your facility. I don't believe the site rules prohibit civil disagreement. I told you I agree with you about the "entitled masses." I could run a tighter ship too if I could lock out tenants on day 2, but unfortunately I am bound by state law and cannot. You say your state allows you to lock out on day 2. I envy you. I was then questioning the part about locking out for the subjective reasons you gave: "grief from tenant and if dodging my questions" - those aren't violations of facility policies, which you are now bringing up. Our contract does let us give a 5-day vacate notice for any reason, and we can lock them out for contract violations, but they haven't violated the contract during the grace period, even if you see them vacating the space. They can pay the rent before or after they physically vacate the space.

                      So if on the first day of the month I see a UHaul truck at a tenant's unit and they tell me they're moving out, but they'll pay me tomorrow when they get their paycheck, I can't go down there when they go to lunch and lock their unit and make them pay when they get back from lunch before they can finish loading their UHaul. Why not? Because they haven't actually violated any policy. Are they part of the "entitled masses" and lying to me? Irrelevant. The contract doesn't have an "entitled masses" clause that allows me to lock a tenant out if I deem them to be part of that group. That's all I'm saying - not denying the entitled masses exist, as you should know from my recent posts. By the way, do I wish I could lock them out when they go to lunch? You betcha!
                      Last edited by RMRSS; 12th November 2019, 10:30 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I saw the very first sentence and did not read the rest. I took nothing personally or was I irritated. You read my posts here and you will see I am straight forward and have not come close to what you just said. I can see where someone may take it that way but I pull no punches. Good luck. Others here can tel you that my response was not made while mad. I don't do that.
                        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
                          I saw the very first sentence and did not read the rest. I took nothing personally or was I irritated.
                          Then why refuse to read the rest of my post? That's not very respectful. I am truly am baffled at your responses here. I'm just trying to have a conversation. I don't get it...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RMRSS View Post

                            Then why refuse to read the rest of my post? That's not very respectful. I am truly am baffled at your responses here. I'm just trying to have a conversation. I don't get it...
                            Just read the PM I sent you.
                            "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I guess a few questions about the facility. Is the due date the same for all tenants (i.e. 1st of the month) or based on move-in date? Do you have a keypad for code entry (entrance/exit gate) or do you have a gate you open in the morning and close in the evening?

                              The reason for the questions are based on your ability to track your tenants comings and goings and when their payments are due.

                              I feel it is a lot easier to know which units to overlock when everybody has the same due date (ours are due on the 1st, late on the 2nd, when gate locks them out - gate code no longer functions). I can overlock on the 2nd but have found this counter- productive, with a large number of payments still coming in. I overlock on the 5th, when the late fee is added (I have noticed with more online payments that you have to check your daily cash drawer summary before you close and when you open - and look for overlocks to remove - the system we use does not alert us to delinquent payments made online).

                              If your due date is based on move-in date, that will require more effort on your part to keep track of when to overlock and remove overlocks. You might have a system already in place that works for you.

                              If you have gate code entry - based on how it is set up - it should deny entry to any delinquent account. Usually, that is enough to have someone stop in the office and make payment (sometimes people just forget to make payment). For us this system works as long as the gate code is entered during the move-in process. You can bypass the move-in process and enter a code directly into the gate software but have to remember to remove that code when it is no longer valid. When a code is entered this way, when an account becomes delinquent, the gate code will still function as if the tenant had paid. This is important to note - unless you were the manager from day one of that facility, you do not know what went on before you arrived (or have been the manager since a software change).

                              If you have a gate that you open and close with no tenant tracking then I would make sure to have a camera for the entry and exit side of the gate (maybe even to capture license plate numbers). I would also have one for the office (if you do not already) if you have a pass through office (two doors - one for public entry and one onto the facility grounds).

                              You want to have visible signage on your building and gates - No Trespassing, No Tailgating . . ., etc (you can use this in the future for non-payee's - they are trespassing, etc).

                              You want to double check your lease wording (and any addendum's) to make sure your lease is clear on date's when you can take action (lock out/overlock, etc). Is the lease outdated? State and local governments make changes to statutes and laws every year (I have old tenant's with leases that had a $10 late fee, a law was changed some years back to allow a $20 late fee - a copy of the letter that was mailed with that change is in the tenant file). Your state Self Storage Association should be able to help you locate your state's rental laws - if you are not a member, I would suggest you (or the owner) join - they are usually not too expensive and are a valuable resource (for forms, information, anything related to self storage).

                              Your lease might have wording about pro-rating into a month. If you feel more comfortable using this to collect some of the rent that is due (we pro-rate 4 days into a month - if the tenant is still in the unit/lock on - on the 5th day, and has not paid, we charge the full month of rent and late fee). We usually ask as a courtesy that they pay before the end of the month, we create a retail item to add to the account and edit as needed, for the days into next month, but we have the ability to write off the remaining rent as needed (I know all managers can not perform this function). Since they are already on the property and moving out, you might be able to create a fee or charge and take payment for that specific fee (and not the whole rent, if you are unable to perform write-off's) and most people are generally honest and fair - they really do not mind paying for a few days of rent into a month (they feel they are being taken advantage of when then pay for a whole month and need 3 days into a month - even though they signed a lease stating they would pay for a whole month or give proper notice). Hopefully, your software has a good pro-rate calculator - if you have not used one before, just be aware that it is based on a 30-day month (sometimes day 1 pro-rate and day 2 pro-rate are the same and not every day is the same amount - you can not figure one day and then multiple by the number of days needed). If you end up creating a retail item for the pro-rate, just make sure the tax is correct (it usually defaults to the local sales tax and if you have a different self storage tax rate, you will need to change the tax rate for that one item).

                              Also, to remind tenants of the vacate process - you might post a couple of flyers (10 day written notice, etc) by the gates and bathroom.

                              I hope everything works out.

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