Can a landlord retaina third car garage as personal storage?

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Can a landlord retaina third car garage as personal storage?

We are looking to rent a home with a 3 car garage. The landlord has sealed off the third car garage and keeps it locked with personal storage. Is this legal?

Asked on July 20, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

What did you lease--i.e. did you lease the entire garage? If your lease  provides that  you get access to the entire garage, then the lease has to honored. However, if there's no lease yet, the landlord could certainly arrannge matters so as to keep personal storage on site and only rent you 2 or the 3 garage units or spaces. A landlord is completely free to define what propertion of his or her property he or she rents, and what portion is retained for other or personl uses. The only restriction is that this must be done before a lease is signed; once a lease has been signed, then both parties are bound  by it, and the landlord cannot after the fact go and alter its terms unilaterally, such as by subsequently holding back space from the tenant for the landlord's storage.


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