Return to the Apartment Living Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
someone living in garage

Posted by pcmeister (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 7, 06 at 18:46

I live in an apt building with no onsite management. Directly below me is a garage. About three months ago, I noticed someone quietly living in there. It kind of creeps me out to know that there's someone living in there when it's supposed to be used as a garage. Should I report this to management?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: someone living in garage

ummmm, whyever would you NOT report it?

Someone living in a garage may use kerosene burners or candles for heat, which is a major fire hazard. They are more likely to be drug users, which means unsavory friends and potential criminality of their own.

Oh, sure, it could be some perfectly decent but financially desperate person, but the odds are low.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

If you can't get in touch with management, I'd call the police. But wait until you hear the noise for sure and then call so they will be there when the police come. Tally Sue is right. Probably unsavory person/people.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

It does not matter if they are unsavory or if they are 'really nice guys'. It is illegal.

And it is putting you in danger.

You can either:

1.) Call the police. Depending on where you live, they may or may not make the situation a high priority for them to come out to investigate.

2.) Call a social services agency. They may come out to talk to the person and access their mental health status and financial situation and get them proper assistance from the appropriate agency.

3.) Call your landlord. I'm sure he will get on the matter immediately. He will either do one of the above, or personally remove the person from his property himself. Hopefully he will increase security for your building after this.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

I reported it to management over a week ago... I was told that it would be looked into, but "couldn't promise me anything". I was also told that the garage man has been renting the garage for years. But for the last three months, he's in there daily from dusk to dawn and then some. It seems it's now his "home" of sorts. So far the situation hasn't changed one bit. He doesn't appear to be a stereotypical bad guy, but I still get creeped out. I'm not sure what to do, but at least management knows about this now. Maybe I'll just wait a little longer and see what happens.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

Call the police if you aren't comfortable. It is probably illegal to rent as a living space anyway unless its been modified in some way. Maybe that will convience the mgt. to do something about it.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

Call the housing authority in your area. The building inspector will come out and investigate. People are not allowed to live in garages and storage lockers - even if they are the ones renting them.

The problem is that these agencies have a backlog of things like this to investigate and it will take some time to get the situation rectified.

Do you have other neighbors who have observed this situation? Maybe you could all get together to form your complaint? I do not know where you live, but sometimes going to your local area alderman or trustee can make things happen faster and get something done about this.

The problem with going to the police is that your name will be on the complaint form. Your landlord may resent you as a "troublemaker" and the person living in the garage will also have your name and you do not know how rational they may be.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

my husband and I and our three children have been renting the house we now live in for the past 5 years. It's a beautiful house newly remodeled inside and out. We own a run-down house next door also. We had plans to connect the two properties and plant lots of trees and flowers. But our dreams have become a reality... Our landlord filed bankruptcy and we are unable to secure a loan. The bank has given us a verbal two week notice to vacate. I have been dilligently looking for another house to rent but i refuse to pay more than five hundred a month, which is what we pay now. I found a house for nine hundred a month and that to me is highway robery. I will live in my garage before i pay someone elses mortgage payment for them. We are good people. It makes me nervous to read these forums... that it is possible that it is illegal to live in a garage. By the end of summer i will have saved close to 35 thousand.... I should hope that is enough for a mortage company to stand up and take notice of how serious we are about getting a loan. Too bad that by the end of summer the home that we want will be sold.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

Any landlord that has a mortgage and doesn't have it covered by rent is losing. It's pointless. But you want a landlord to share the burden of providing a roof over your head, cheap, and have them pitch in almost half toward the mortgage, so you can keep saving thousands for your dream home? That sounds a little bit like robbery of sorts, too.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

I must be the only one here wondering why everyone assumes someone who is "living quietly" anywhere unconventional is necessarily a threat and needs reporting on (shades of the French revolution?). There are a lot of people out there these days who can't afford proper housing and if no threat has been shown to anyone, what is the rush to turn in a person who may not be harmful in any way? Why not go down (together) and ask if they need help, or how long they plan to stay, or if in fact the landlord has given them permission to stay a while?


 o
RE: someone living in garage

Personally I agree with you lucy, people do hit on hard times, can be financially wiped out by no fault of their own and do need a hand because they are down to nothing. Have personally had tenants myself who have hit on hard times (usually job loss/lay off) and rather than boot them out have floated them a month or two and they got back on their feet. What bothers me is someone willingly wanting to live in a garage to avoid/rebel paying market value rents because they need more time to pad their bank account to reach the $35,000 mark. That's an entirely different matter and if all of society were permitted to do that so we could save up big $ we'd all be sitting pretty.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

Lucy I agree with you. Especially these days .... living in unconventional housing is looked at as somehow unsavory.

Just because a person doesnt want to live exactly like everyone else, doesnt mean they are bad people. Hell! I'd live in a van/small RV if I could do so easily, but laws are made & enforced so that you basically have to live by a certain standard. And that standard is becoming more & more unaffordable.

Almost makes me want to build a small cabin & live out in the woods somewhere remote.

@moonshadow
I am one of those types that would be willing to live in an unconventional housing situation JUST to pad my savings with the ultimate goal of being able to better afford buying a house in the future. I live a simple life & cut corners to be able to save $$$ & I have found that people have some sort of odd hatred against me living the way I do. I often wonder if it is jealousy.... that what they consider a "normal" person should be living in debt as much as they should, paying normal high rent costs that they are & not being able to save money up.

I live in a cheap as chips apartment, dont have cable, dont have a home phone, & dont pay for a lot of things I dont deem neccessary..... its a way for me to save up $$$ for the future, and when people find out how I live I am often looked at as if I was some sort of freak.

FOr some.... it is the only way to save $$$. Just because someone has 10-20 thousand in savings .... they are immediately supposed to start living in a a new situation where they would be unable to continue to save money? I dont think so. I'd rather live like a poor person for 10 years in order to later be able to buy a house,..... not just to keep renting & not being able to save money due to high rents.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

FOr some.... it is the only way to save $$$. Just because someone has 10-20 thousand in savings .... they are immediately supposed to start living in a a new situation where they would be unable to continue to save money?

Certainly not. That would be completely irresponsible and detrimental and was not the point I was trying to make at all. I don't think anyone should live beyond their means, it's only going to come back to bite them (and eventually we all pay for someone else's irresponsibility, whether via higher insurance rates, higher taxes, higher interest rates, etc. etc.) And for the record, I'd be perfectly content to live in a remote area without a lot of 'frills'. I grew up rural and practical, and that's where I want to be again. So that's what we're working toward while we pay our bills and try to save $.

What I was saying is that the poster above seems bitter about paying $900 a month for renting a house. In my area that gets a starter home or decent apartment. In my area (large metro/suburban), $500 would get a tiny, not very nice place in a very scary neighborhood. That poster said she has been living in a nice, remodeled house. She's been looking, and can't find that for what she's been paying (and I'm not surprised given the market). The poster complained higher rent was highway robbery, and she's sooner live in her garage than pay someone else's mortgage for them. And it was that line of thought that rubbed me the wrong way.

So reverse it. If a landlord doesn't cover the mortgage, that means they are essentially footing the bill for part of the tenant's roof over their head. Partially supporting them. While that tenant squirrels away thousands to buy a house of their own. Nothing wrong at all with pursuing homeownership. But would you cover any portion of someone else's housing expense, causing you financial loss, so that your tenant could save all that money to acquire their dream?

That's all I was getting at. Nothing more.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

Someone living in a garage may use kerosene burners or candles for heat, which is a major fire hazard. Or a space heater, which running many hours in a row has its own risks.

And given that this garage is directly below our original poster's apartment, I think it's worth worrying about.

Also--the people who fall off the edge are just generally less able to cope w/ life. And the reasons they're less able to cope with life, are more likely to lead to them indulging in risky behavior.

Why aren't they able to rent--with a roommate if necessary--a cheap-o apartment? Because they can't afford it. And why can't they afford it? Because they don't have a job, or don't have one that pays well enough. And why don't they have a good-enough job? Well, maybe the economy has tanked where they are; it did during the depression. But it may easily be, in our current economy, that they aren't reliable enough to get a good job. That they aren't savvy enough to identify a job that pays enough, or their priorities are a little screwy. Everything from naivete to bad judgment to outright criminality.

Why aren't they living w/ a relative or friend until they get their feet under them? Maybe because they don't have any (new area, etc.), but also maybe because family and friends won't have them around.

These are signals that there is a much-higher-than-normal chance that this person is likely to create problems for the people around him. He can't take care of himself properly, and that will impact the people whose homes are near his.

This person is not living in a cheap-o apartment or even a small RV. He is living in a garage.
Which won't have proper wiring, proper insulation, proper fire escapes.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

Nothing like being a little judgmental I guess. So glad you're on top of everything and have managed to get it so together - except for the humanity. If I was worried about a fire risk I'd certainly ask the landlord or super to investigate that aspect of things, but things being what they are today, it is in fact perfectly likely that garage is wired, and therefore there may well be plenty of light (and an outlet in which to plug in a microwave).


 o
RE: someone living in garage

@tally_sue_nyc

WOW! That's a postfull of unfounded speculation you got there!

Just because someone is down on their luck .... doesnt mean they are probably irresponsible & incapable of getting back on their feet! The original poster said he was "quietly living" there.... if he was bringing attention to himself/being a nusience, then maybe I'd be on your side a bit.

Since we are all speculating I might as well join in & say that its very possible he is living cheaply so he can save up to move on to a better housing situation. Heck! He may have had his business fail, been recently divorced & paying outrageous alimony, his house foreclosed on.... who knows! I'd say since the guy is paying rent (on the garage) & trying to not bring attention and to himself he is being somewhat responsible in that respect.

I live like a poor college student by choice, save up as much as I can, but I could easily be one horrible illness away from living on the streets (in my vehicle) as I have noone else in this world to help me out if I needed it. SHould I be bashed, judged unfavourably, scorned if that happens?


 o
RE: someone living in garage

If you are saving as much as you can, wouldn't you have savings to tap if that horrible illness meant you couldn't afford your current rent?

Wouldn't you have public-assistance sources that would help you figure out how NOT to have to live in your vehicle?

(that's why I pay taxes--so that help like this is available to people who suddenly find out they need it, even if those people are not me)

If someone makes life choices that mean they are living in their vehicle, or in someone else's garage, then they have a pattern in their life that is going to make them hard to live around.

Nobody's alimony is so outrageous that they have to live in a garage, or their vehicle. They may not be able to afford a mansion, but they can live like a poor college student--and last I checked, poor college students may live in CRUMMY apartments, w/ roommates, in not-so-great parts of town.

But they don't sleep in their vehicles on the street, or rent garages and sleep there.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

Talley, you are just plain out of touch with what goes on in the real world. Yes, there are agencies and good intentions and a lot of other supposedly helpful things out there, but in fact, half of them are full up, another half (never mind my math) just ran out of money, another has regulations that make living there difficult to follow for many people for various reasons that may be quite valid, and all your taxes in the world don't necessarily cover half of what's needed - the powers that be are usually so far behind current needs anyhow, and often also out of touch, or in denial. You may try to save for a rainy day, but what if you just began doing so, particularly if you're young and have trouble finding work, plus what if you get 2-3 rainy days all at once, and what if you're very tired and depressed (stats on real depression in deprived people are sky-high) so that pursuing ideal fixes is almost insurmountable a lot of the time - it's not laziness, it's despair, lack of decent food to feed your body and brain, and one-size-fits-all beaurocracy that allows way too many round pegs to fall through when only square holes are left. What if you've just been thrown out of your home by your drug-addicted parent? Having a vehicle to live in is a bonus for many. It's so easy to sit back in a leather recliner on plush carpets (or new hardwood) and console yourself that the gov't is taking care of everyone, but that's miles and miles away from the truth! People also may be theoretically born equal, but apart from how ridiculous it is from a financial standpoint, they are also not all born with the same physical, mental or emotional resources, and may not have the luxury or ability to use Excel or Powerpoint to figure out their futures, plus may be saddled with dependents acquired when they were certain their sig. other was a stand-up person - only to watch them disappear, leaving the 'family' holding the bag. Welfare is poison (psychologically) to many people, kids or no kids, plus saving for the future may be pretty 'relative' if your savings from the only work you can find (brains or no brains) don't let you save more than $5.00 a week at best. I suggest you start reading, listening, travelling and talking (to people in need) and find out just where the land lies, because you're starting to sound like Marie Antoinette - 'Let them eat cake" (her answer to complaints that there was no bread to go around).


 o
RE: someone living in garage

@lucy

Couldnt have said it better myself.


& @Tally_sue_nyc

Say if I had 20 thousand in life's savings.... that would get eaten up quickly by a major illness's hospital costs. Even with health insurance(that is IF your health insurance doesnt find a way to weasle out of paying ...which is quite common these days).

and this... "If someone makes life choices that mean they are living in their vehicle, or in someone else's garage, then they have a pattern in their life that is going to make them hard to live around"

Pattern my fat arse! Sometimes you dont have anywhere to go, if you were evicted (because you couldnt pay your rent)then you are going to have one hellova time getting ANYONE to rent to you in the future, and there are no homeless shelters for men in rural areas.... you are on your own. You would have to go into the big city where the odds of you being a victim of crime skyrockets. I'd rather live in my car in a safe rural or suburban area than have to wait in line for the possibility of getting a hot meal & bed at a homeless shelter (many homeless shelters fill up quickly & have to turn needy people away every day/night)in a dangerous part of the city. And they arent exactly safe.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

The point is, it's nice to be in a position to make life choices, but not everyone is, not everyone gets that chance. It's not always just about working harder, or avoiding trouble.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

I recently saw a repeat on HGTV's My First Place where a gal was living in a friends garage for either free or low rent while she saved up for a down payment on her own place. It was a very small garage, although it did have a toilet and a sink and an out let for power. She ended up getting a place seems like for 300 thousand dollars. She pretty much lived on peanut butter and crackers and yes she did have a microwave. The folks on HGTV thought she was a pretty smart cookie.. Makes me wonder how many other people saw the same episode and thought what a great idea!!


 o
RE: someone living in garage

"Also--the people who fall off the edge are just generally less able to cope w/ life."

It is not proper to negatively "generalize" about a group of people, as it is a form of bigotry. Many of us know bigotry by its more distinct areas of hate: Racism and Sexism. However, it none the less also includes Elitism and Classism [among other lessor known 'isms]. As such, it is only fair and factual to say that the above quoted statement is something one would expect to hear from an Elitist. So now the question I pose to you Tally Sue from New York is; Are you an Elitist? Do you really believe that those people who "fall off the edge" economically are "generally less able to cope with life"?


 o
RE: someone living in garage

Do you really believe that those people who "fall off the edge" economically are "generally less able to cope with life"?

yes--if they were able to cope with life, they wouldn't fall off the edge. Duh.

Note that I did NOT say they were scummier, or slimier, or to be looked down upon. Harder to live around, yes--that's simple fact. I would rather not have someone whose life is in that state, living in the garage under the apartment in which I pay rent.

I pay the amount of rent I do in order to place myself in a certain type of neighborhood. I want a certain quality of life around me, day to day, in and around my home. I pay for that; I choose it.

Sure, some people get shoved off the edge.

Some people get dealt a hand that starts them perilously close to the edge, through no fault of their own. Most of the time, people find ways to cope with live that mean they don't have to live in a garage.

But some people make choices that move them closer to the edge, and right over it, sometimes.

And definitely, some people have a life that starts them off so far from the edge that it's very hard for them to fall off.

As for "generalizing"--well, I'm generalizing based on what they'd DONE, not what they look like or where they were born.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

But you DON'T know what they've done (apart from supposedly living in a garage for a very short time). You have no idea what's been done to them, or anything else. If you want to live in your ivory tower, I guess it's your right, just stop judging the rest of us!


 o
RE: someone living in garage

Lucy, do you live in a garage? Is that why you think I'm judging you?

Or do you live in your car? Is that why you think I'm judging you?

How many of "the rest of us" do you think I'm judging? How many of "the rest of us" actually live in a garage, or in their car?

I personally don't define "three months" as "a very short time." Not when someone sleeps night after night in a garage.

Also, you seem to have lost sight of something else I said:

".. it could be some perfectly decent but financially desperate person, but the odds are low." I've acknowledged the possibility that the person living in the garage is perfectly decent to be around.

But my experience has shown me, people who "lose it" badly enough that they can't even sleep on someone's couch, or in someone's basement, for 3 months are usually people for whom life is extra hard in OTHER ways. And that can have a negative impact on the people around them.

Nctrnl says homeless shelters aren't safe--why is that? Because the people who use them are more *likely* to be people who are hard or dangerous to be around? Isn't that judging the people who use them?


 o
RE: someone living in garage

It's using intelligence regarding a well known entity - homeless shelters do house many 'deserving' people (well, all people deserve to have a bed...) but as there are also known to be seriously disturbed people out there who make it pretty miserable for the rest to get safe sleep, then one needs to be careful. But that's not the same as pre-judging a single individual who apparently has done nothing to anyone, without learning more about 'who' and 'why'. You can't sleep on someone's couch if you're new in town (whose couch?), ditto for bsmts. Sure, I live in my car and spend my time on the forums using a laptop! Here's a hint if you have nothing better to do though, go to 'Small homes' forum and read "Score!" But it will tell you nothing about how and why my life transpired to be what I wrote about... but your guesses would be fun to read!


 o
RE: someone living in garage

I have a friend whom I have known since we were 7 years old. That's a LONG time. She has had a rough life, partly through her choices, partly because of the way she was brought up. She is very outspoken, and sometimes hard to deal with.

At one point she lived in her car for over a year, with a very large dog as well. Borrowed friends/families facilities for showers, did laundry at the laundromat or at friends/family's facilities, and worked at whatever she could find. We are talking about an adult here, with two grown children. Fiercely independent, she did what she had to do. If someone had offered her a garage to live in, she would have gratefully accepted. She is officially retired now, after having many short-term jobs and even running her own business fairly successfully. Still fiercely independent and finally fairly secure.

Can you believe I've known this woman for almost sixty years?! There were times in our lives when I didn't even want her around, and other times I've welcomed her with open arms. Right now we are very good, very old friends. Granted, we are 3,000 miles apart and keep in touch through email (we are each other's diary).

I salute her for surviving, and overcoming many difficulties of which I have no comprehension or capability to imagine.

So when I hear of someone living in a garage, I can understand your uneasiness, but I would like to hear the other side of the story.


 o
things aren't always as it seems

Joseph and the Virgin Mary were not able to stay at the Inn, it was full, after traveling many miles. They were, however, given room at the stable.

True story!

And they had a baby!


 o
RE: someone living in garage

Yes, but did they use the microwave Neesie :-)! Good one!


 o
RE: someone living in garage

10yrs back,i had my own apartment in a nice area,nice cnvertable good standard of living,a relationship left me unable to cope and i hit my bottom.i bought a garage and stayed occasionally hoping to kickstart my life back,one thing that is over looked,why i didnt impose on anyones coach,pride,embarrasment,looks like the ivory tower let them eat cake types hav won,those who harassed and had a right to know my business,i now live on social welfare as a recluse,i dont think 3months is a long time to put adiqate money by to ensure you dont go back,was i the first guy to get rinsed by a partner,the phrase your life can change in a minute is applicable to one and all.if anything someone who i happy to go thrugh life with their hand out wouldnt hav to put up with the indignity social security,usually drug addicts are spotted as such first and formost as in,there is a drug addict living in the garage.i had a very high standard of living for 20yrs,with no forsight to save,literally from hitting the pavment i saved up for a garage and left alone my life would long since hav been back on track,i dont begrudge anyone their opionion to prejudge in the same way if anyone dilikes gays or etnic minorites it is there choice,the only saving grace is,you havent indicated intension of harassment,by all means contact the authorites as much as this guy doesnt appear to intend upset to anyone,it is actually bound to drawn attension from the authorities,a bad egg as it were,having gone thru the system would normally hav sufficent contacts to prevent such lifestyle.depression can be debilitating.anyone can lose it all,to live in this way to accumilate funds to get back on ones feet makes a person an undesirable....judge not least ye be judged


 o
RE: someone living in garage

its so ignorant when i am reading all these people saying report the persons who are living in a garage.

didnt you ever stop to think they cant afford living and thats the best way. Being homeless isnt a joke or to make YOU feel uncomfortable. its obviously the safest way they can live and afford to live at the moment. Live isnt a comfy bed of roses for everybody.

so u report them now and they get kicked out , security is lost to them and now what? they should die, possible rape or abuse on the streets or die from the cold?

wow no common sense u people shock me.

we all goes through life ups and downs.


 o
RE: someone living in garage

I'm reading these post and I don't know if I should post my opinion. Being that I may just be backing up those that are a threat to society or for the possibilty that I just can't cope with life?
Well I don't give up and I sure ain't going to let other people tell me I can't especially based on negative opinions.
I have been in this homeless situation but not hopeless. How it lead up to it is left for at least 2 different forums that it could be posted on.
There could be other factors on why someone will not go to a family member. Could be that they don't want to burden anyone else, and they don't because they are very sure of themselves that they will recover quicker. Or maybe it can very well be that just because the family member is living well is the one with a problem that nobody else likes to be around? Sad to say and I've heard it from so many people that I know and others that I don't. "A stranger will do more for you then your own family".
I had a chance to use a storage room and I only went there to sleep and that was it. That's all one really needs when the rest of the day you go out and take care of everything that needs to be done to get back on your feet. I would take my blankets and pillow and in the morning roll them up and back in the car. Would you really call that living?
Yes I can say that I would sneek in because I didn't want to cause any problems for the person who gave me that oportunity.
Someone finally caught on and told the landlord. And I am okay with that because it is illegal. What I have a big problem with is that THAT THE PEOPLE WHO REPORTED ME HAVE PEOPLE LIVING IN THEIR GARAGE! AND THE LANLORD HE REPORTED ME TO KNOWS THAT PEOPLE LIVE IN THE GARAGE!
I know what some of you might be saying, I may have been able to pay a lot less if it was only a storage room and used only to sleep (se I'm not a bad person and still have a sense of humor).
The point of all this is for you to chose


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Apartment Living Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here