Storage Unit Evictions And Property Sales
Your business may have items in storage, and that means that you may at some point have a problem with the storage company. What are the laws that a storage company must follow, and what rights do you, as a tenant, have against a storage unit owner?
No Lawsuit Needed
As a tenant, your rights in a storage unit are much fewer than your rights may be as a commercial or residential tenant. Florida law allows a landlord to evict you (your property) without court action, as would be the case in a traditional eviction.
If you do not pay your rent on a storage unit, you can be denied access to the unit and your property within five days. The owner can, if it so chooses, file a lawsuit against you but it doesn’t have to do so in order to sell your property at auction. If rent continues to be unpaid, the owner of the property can sell the contents of the storage unit.
Procedures to Evict and Sell Property
Sale of property cannot happen until the tenant is properly notified. Email notice is OK, however, the law does require some kind of delivery confirmation from the email, otherwise, certified, registered mail notice to the tenant must be used.
The notice must contain the amount due to the landlord, a rough description of the property in the unit, and a demand for payment that provides 14 days to pay. The notice must inform the tenant that if payment is not made, a sale of the property will take place.
If payment is still not made, the storage unit owner can then move to advertising the sale to the public. The sale has to be advertised once a week for 2 weeks wherever the unit is located.
The sale can be in person, but can also be conducted by any online medium that usually conducts auctions. The sale cannot take place sooner than 15 days after the sale is first advertised. Sales, auctions, and advertising all must be done in what the law calls a “commercially reasonable manner.”
The tenant always has the right to pay what is owed, and thus redeem the property, at any point before the sale. The tenant’s property must be returned by the landlord.
If the sale of the property yields more than what the tenant owes, the overage or balance must be returned to the tenant.
If you are a purchaser of property at a storage eviction auction, you have some protections. So long as you are a good faith purchaser, you have no liability for violation of the law by the landlord—in other words, if the landlord doesn’t follow the correct procedure, you, as the purchaser, still get to keep the property purchased at the auction.
Call the West Palm Beach business litigation lawyers at Pike & Lustig. We can handle any commercial or business litigation cases that you may have.