You Be the Judge

choufleurMay 20, 2005

I rent half my garage to a family. Recently, I had a new and stronger door installed and some of my renters' items had to be unstacked and moved to my side of the garage for the door installation. Fortunately, the installer helped me move the items because some of the items were very heavy.

I informed my renters they need to re-arrange their items so I can use my side of the garage. The renters claimed the items had been moved into the garage by professionals and my renters' health prevents them from re-arranging the items themselves. I offered to give them the phone number of a company that specializes in small moving jobs, but they preferred to try to get a relative to help them out.

It has been a week since I notified my renters of the situation and I really want to park my car in my portion of the garage and remove some of my items for pickup by a charity. After another week, if I this problem hasn't been resolved, I'm going to pay someone to take care of it and request reimbursement from the renters.

Am I being unreasonable for expecting the renters to be financially responsible for having their items re-arranged?

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I am no expert but a renter that had already paid professionals to put the boxes into the space shouldn't have to move the boxes again. Having said that, did you tell the renters at the time of renting that the garage door would be replaced and they would have to move their boxes a second time?

I would post this question on the apartments forum.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 11:42PM
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In a situation like this, you have to ask yourself whether it's more important to be right or to preserve the business relationship. Legally, you may be able to require renters to move their belongings if it's necessary to do so to make repairs or improvements to the building. But if you were going to do that, you probably should have informed them of the need to temporarily move their items by a certain date so you could have the new door installed.

Now you're in a situation where you've done half of the job, and you want them to do the other half. Right or wrong, many people would probably not be happy about this since they're paying for the use of this space. Why not just hire a teenager (maybe a family member) and give him or her $20 or whatever to help you move the items back? Assuming it's in your financial interest to keep this rental arrangement going, it might be better to just absorb the small amount you'll pay to move the items back than to try to collect it from them.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 1:59AM
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imho, yes, you are being unreasonable.

Sounds like, you replaced the door because you wanted a newer, better door, not because the renters requested it, or because of damage to the old door caused by the renters. You moved their stuff, and (I think?) you didn't notify them ahead of time you were moving it, or ask their permission. (lucky nothing got damaged, or you would be responsible for replacing their stuff under those circumstances). Now you want them to move it back, and you're not willing to wait for a time that's convenient for them. I'd be a bit peeved if I were them.

Possibly, if you'd made arrangements ahead of time, you could have required them to move their stuff in anticipation of improvements to the garage. You could have worked out an arrangement that both of you were happy with. After you've taken it on yourself to move their things, I think you need to put them back where you got them from.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 12:27PM
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Greetings choufleur,

I assume that all of the stuff that you want moved is the stuff that you moved to permit installation of the improved door.

My Dad - who died nearly 20 years ago - used to say, "You made the mess - you clean it up".

Seems to me that if I were the person who rented the space from you, I'd come to look at the goods.

When I saw that the goods were not in their original location, I'd suggest to you (rather strongly, I think) that, since you had moved my stuff from its original location earlier, you could now move it back - taking care not to damage any of it.

At your expense.

And remind you that you had not consulted me about the earlier move of my stuff, prior to its taking place.

Would it make sense - or be possible - to move the items in question by using one of those wheeled carts that delivery people use to deliver goods from their truck to customers?

Maybe rent one for a day.

(Maybe you should get the installer of the improved door to come back to help you move it?)

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 2:29PM
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IMHO, you are responsible for moving their items back to where they originally were.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 6:35PM
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Yep, you moved it out of place, you move it back into place.

From all the responses, looks like you're gonna have to tuck your tail between your legs and move the stuff back.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 12:21AM
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but what about this:

If he'd had to put in a new door, and told them they had to come move the stuff out of the way so he could, would he have been in the right? I apartments, renters are required to make it possible for the landlord to maintain the property. Even if it's not a repair, but just an upgrade.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 7:19PM
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