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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3927
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I have a ranch in California. A previous tenant has his posessions

Customer Question

I have a ranch in California. A previous tenant has his posessions in storage at the ranch and is paying 50/month storage fees. I want to reclaim the space that he occupies with his poosessions and use it for a different purpose.

He pays his fees but refuses to move.

Do I have a remedy?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

I have a few questions for you in order to answer your question.

1. Are you leasing the ranch? Does your lease give you the right to use the space where the other guys stuff is?

2. Does the previous tenant have an agreement with someone to keep the possessions there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The ranch is my property.


 


The tenant has an informal unwritten agreement with me


 


He used to have a written agreement ending Jan 2012 when he lived here

Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
In your case, you need to send a written notice to him that he needs to come and pick up the items within 18 days or that you will put them up for sale at a public auction.

The notice needs to include a description of all the property. The notice shall describe the property in a manner reasonably adequate to permit the owner of the property to identify it. The notice may describe all or a portion of the property, but the limitation of liability provided by Section 1989 does not protect the landlord from any liability arising from the disposition of property not described in the notice except that a trunk, valise, box, or other container which is locked, fastened, or tied in a manner which deters immediate access to its contents may be described as such without describing its contents. The notice shall advise the person to be notified that reasonable costs of storage may be charged before the property is returned, where the property may be claimed, and the date before which the claim must be made. The date specified in the notice shall be a date not less than 15 days after the notice is personally delivered or, if mailed, not less than 18 days after the notice is deposited in the mail.

The notice shall be personally delivered to the person to be notified or sent by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the person to be notified at his or her last known address and, if there is reason to believe that the notice sent to that address will not be received by that person, also to any other address known to the landlord where the person may reasonably be expected to receive the notice. If the notice is sent by mail to the former tenant, one copy shall be sent to the premises vacated by the tenant.

It needs to contain the following words:

"Notice of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property
To:
(Name of former tenant)
(Address of former tenant)
When you vacated the premises at
(Address of premises, including room or apartment number, if any)
,
the following personal property remained:
(Insert description of the personal
property)
You may claim this property at
(Address where property may be claimed)
Unless you pay the reasonable cost of storage for all the above-described
property, and take possession of the property which you claim, not later
than ; (insert date not less than 15 days after notice is
personally delivered or, if mailed, not less than 18 days after notice is
deposited in the mail) this property may be disposed of pursuant to Civil
Code Section 1988.
(Insert here the statement required by subdivision (b) of this section)
Dated:
(Signature of landlord)
(Type or print name of landlord)
(Telephone number)
(Address)"


You need to serve the notice by

(1) Notice of the time and place of the public sale shall be given by publication pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county where the sale is to be held.

(2) The last publication shall be not less than five days before the sale is to be held.

(3) The notice of the sale shall not be published before the last of the dates specified for taking possession of the property in any notice given pursuant to Section 1993.03.

(4) The notice of the sale shall describe the property to be sold in a manner reasonably adequate to permit the owner of the property to identify it.

(5) The notice may describe all or a portion of the property, but the limitation of liability provided by Section 1993.08 does not protect the landlord from any liability arising from the disposition of property not described in the notice, except that a trunk, valise, box, safe, vault, or other container that is locked, fastened, or tied in a manner that deters immediate access to its contents may be described as such without describing its contents.

(c)

(1) After deduction of the costs of storage, advertising, and sale, any balance of the proceeds of the sale that is not claimed by the former tenant or an owner other than the tenant shall be paid into the treasury of the county in which the sale took place not later than 30 days after the date of sale.

(2) The former tenant or other owner may claim the balance within one year from the date of payment to the county by making application to the county treasurer or other official designated by the county.

(3) If the county pays the balance or any part thereof to a claimant, neither the county nor any officer or employee thereof shall be liable to any other claimant as to the amount paid.

You can bid on the items for sale.

Please let me know if you need more information or want to discuss this further.

-ZDN
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3927
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


It seems from your answer that as long as he is paying his storage fees I cant take action. Should I send back his checks?
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your response.

The statute specifically allows you to provide him with a date by which he has to come and pick up the goods or you can sell them at public auction. He can't merely pay storage fees into perpetuity. All you have to do is send the notice and give him a deadline as stated in my answer above. What the statute is saying in regard to storage fees is that he does not have a right to reclaim his property until he has paid all the storage fees due.

You are in an odd situation. Usually, a tenant will want to pick up his possessions when he is being charged storage fees by a landlord. Instead, this tenant is trying to convert the fact that he left personal property on the ranch into some kind of agreement by you to store that property forever. That is simply not supported by the law.

Send him the notice, and if he doesn't show up to claim his stuff, sell it.

-ZDN

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