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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34960
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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We allowed a tenant to temporarily store his items in our garage

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We allowed a tenant to temporarily store his items in our garage but we have asked him to remove them on several occassions. It's been over a year now and he still has not removed his items which consists of many cardboard boxes full of junk & some old furniture. The space he is taking up can store a car. We would like to take back the use of the space. His lease & contract does not state the use of the garage. Can we give him a letter asking him to remove his items by a certain date or else we place it outside for the garbage collector and the cost to remove his suf will be added to his next month's rent? What makes a letter "official"? The property is in San Francisco.
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

You have every right to demand that the tenant remove his property from your garage.

If your lease does not include the garage as a storage space, then he has no legal right to demand access.

You do have to give him notice, in writing, that you are going to require him to move his property and a reasonable amount of time to move the property. 30 days is reasonable.

If he refuses to move the property after 30 days? Then you can dispose of it as you like.

As for "official" just make sure the letter is in writing, and keep a copy (so if you have to go to court you can show the judge what you gave him)

Please let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can we charge the cost it takes to remove his property to his next month's rent if we state it in the letter? He has a lot of stuff that would require additional cost for the garbabge collectors to take., you can not modify the rental agreement because of this (unless he agrees to the modification)

HOWEVER, you can tell him in the letter that you will charge him any costs you incur to dispose of the property. Then, if he refuses to move it and you have to pay to have it removed, you can then bill him the cost. If he refuses to pay you can sue in small claims court to recover.

P. Simmons and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Tenant has not complied. He claimed he did not receive the original notice we gave him. My father said he left it on his door so apparently he did not hand it to him directly. Tenant told my dad he will "take care of it" when he returns from Hong Kong. He doesn't appear to be home when we knocked on his door last night. He may be out of the country right now. He might not be back for another 2 weeks my dad said. Can we go ahead with disposing his property that is in the garage at this point? Are there risks? Did we have to serve him the written notice in person?

There are risks

If you can not prove that he received notice, and you dispose of the property, then you stand the chance of being required to pay the value of the property

You will want to serve him personally...that is the best way to ensure you win if this lands in court.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

But how do you prove that he got the notice though? What if my dad gives it to him in person but he then later denies that? And since he appears to not be in town and I am anxious to clear his things from our garage, can we relocate his things to the back yard for now?

You prove by testimony. If your dad serves him he can testify. If the guy lies on the stand? The standard of proof is preponderance ( more likely than not). In my experience the judges can spot the liars.

So serve him personally and you are set

And you can store where you like. Just protect from damage.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The backyard is exposed to the elements so we can't guarantee protection from damage. it appears we might have to wait until he returns to serve him the paper in person. The tenant already said to my dad that he would "take care of it' when he returns. Can we put a date that is 2 weeks or less from the date of when we think he will return on this new notice? Because how do you pre-type a letter with dates on it if you don't know when you will actually be able to serve him the notice in person?

Ma'am, you can just have your dad write in the date the day he delivers it.

The 2 weeks is to keep you safe from suit.

If you think he will not sue you? You can give him no notice at all.

But if you think he may sue you, I would give him notice in writing and the chance to retrieve the items. That way if he does sue you, you have evidence to show the court you provided him notice