What are my options/rights, if after renting a self storage unit, the unit auctions my property?

Full Question:

What are my options/rights, if after renting a self storage unit, that after not making a payment for 3 months, the owner decided to auction off contents to get paid back for non payment, that they still are required to make a stern effort at contacting owner of contents before holding or taking any options to sell off unit items to recoup what was owed.? The owner can only get back what was originally owed and not sell to make a personal profit of of said items, isn't this correct?" Also do they have to sell contents to only 1 party or can they part out the boxes and contents,like holding a paddle type auction as well. All info can share will be greatly appreciated, need to know also what time frame do you have to recover items if possible not all but where are they being kept until auction winner can pick them up, and also what must the storage owner reveal to old units tenant.
08/11/2007   |   Category: Storage   |   State: Michigan   |   #7870

Answer:

The following is a MI statute:

570.525 Enforcement of lien.

 

 

Sec. 5.

 

 

(1) An owner's lien under section 3 shall be enforced only as provided in this section.

 

 

(2) The tenant and the person designated, if any, by the tenant in section 4(2) shall be notified by written notice delivered in person or by certified mail to the tenant's last known address. The notice shall include all of the following:

 

 

(a) An itemized statement of the owner's claim, showing the sum due at the time of the notice and the date when the sum became due.

 

 

(b) A demand for payment within a specified time not less than 14 days after delivery of the notice.

 

 

(c) A conspicuous statement that, unless the claim is paid within the time stated in the notice, the personal property will be advertised for sale or other disposition and will be sold or otherwise disposed of at a specified time and place.

 

 

(d) The name, street address, and telephone number of the owner whom the tenant may contact to respond to the notice.

 

 

(3) A notice given pursuant to this section shall be presumed delivered when it is deposited with the United States postal service and properly addressed with postage prepaid.

 

 

(4) After the expiration of the time given in the notice described in subsection (2), the contents of the storage space may be moved to another storage space pending its sale or other disposition under this act.

 

 

(5) After the expiration of the time given in the notice described in subsection (2), except as provided in subsection (6), an advertisement of the sale or other disposition shall be published once a week for 2 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the self-service storage facility or self-contained storage unit is located. Regardless whether a sale may involve the property of more than 1 tenant, a single advertisement may be used to advertise the disposal of property at any 1 sale. An advertisement under this section shall include:

 

 

(a) A brief, general inventory, as described in subsection (7), of the personal property subject to the lien that is to be sold.

 

 

(b) The address of the self-storage facility or the address where the self-contained storage unit is located and the name of the tenant.

 

 

(c) The time, place, and manner of the sale or other disposition. The sale or other disposition shall not take place sooner than 15 days after the first publication of the advertisement under this section.

 

 

(6) If there is no newspaper of general circulation in the area where the self-service storage facility or self-contained storage unit is located, the advertisement shall be posted not less than 10 days before the date of the sale or other disposition in not less than 3 conspicuous places in the neighborhood where the self-service storage facility or self-contained storage unit is located.

 

 

(7) The inventory required under subsection (5) shall reasonably identify the property. However, a container, including, but not limited to, a trunk, valise, or box that is locked, fastened, sealed, or tied in a manner that deters immediate access to its contents, may be described as being in such a condition, and no description of that container's contents is required. However, any container closed in such a manner may be opened and its contents inventoried, and those conducting the inventory, the owner, its employees, agents, and representatives shall not be liable for incidental damage to the container caused by the inventory.

 

 

(8) A sale or other disposition of the personal property shall conform to the terms of the notification as provided in this section, and shall be conducted in a commercially reasonable manner.

 

 

(9) Before a sale or other disposition of personal property under this section, the tenant may pay the amount necessary to satisfy the lien and the reasonable expenses incurred under this section to redeem the personal property. Upon receipt of the redemption sum, the owner shall return the personal property to the tenant. After returning the personal property to the tenant under this subsection, the owner shall not be liable to any person concerning that personal property. If the tenant fails to redeem the personal property or satisfy the lien, including reasonable expenses under this section, the tenant shall be considered to have unjustifiably abandoned the personal property and the owner may resume possession of the self-service storage facility or self-contained storage unit.

 

 

(10) Before the sale of a motor vehicle, aircraft, mobile home, moped, motorcycle, snowmobile, trailer, or watercraft, the secretary of state and any other governmental agency as may be reasonably expected shall be contacted to determine the name and address of the title holders or lienholders of those items, and every title holder or lienholder shall be notified of the time and place of the proposed sale. The owner is liable for notifying the holder of a security interest only if the security interest is filed under the name of the person signing the rental agreement, the tenant, or occupant identified in section 4(2). An owner who fails to make the lien searches required by this section shall be liable only to valid lienholders injured by that failure as provided in section 6.

 

 

(11) Before the sale of personal property under this act, a holder of a prior lien on a motor vehicle, aircraft, mobile home, moped, motorcycle, snowmobile, trailer, or watercraft to be sold may pay the owner the amount of the owner's lien attributable to storage of the property, including the reasonable expenses incurred by the owner under this section. The amount payable to the owner shall not exceed the equivalent of 4 months' rent. A payment made to the owner shall be added to the amount of the lien of the prior lienholder who made the payment and shall be subtracted from the amount of the owner's lien.

 

 

(12) A purchase in good faith of the personal property sold under this section takes the property free of any right of a person against whom the lien was valid, despite noncompliance by the owner with the requirements of this section.

 

 

(13) In the event of a sale under this section, the party conducting the sale shall distribute the proceeds in the following sequence:

 

 

(a) First, to satisfy the owner's liens up to an amount equivalent to 4 months' rent, minus any amount already paid the owner pursuant to subsection (11).

 

 

(b) Second, to satisfy outstanding balances owed prior perfected lienholders.

 

 

(c) Third, to satisfy the balance of the owner's liens.

 

 

(14) Any proceeds of the sale remaining after the distribution is made under subsection (13) shall be returned to the tenant by mailing the proceeds to the tenant's last known address by certified mail and by notifying the tenant by first-class mail. If the tenant does not claim the remaining proceeds within 2 years after the date of sale, the remaining proceeds shall escheat to the state. The owner shall maintain proper records of money received in any sale held under this section, and the records shall be subject to audit by the state department of treasury.