What can I do if the owner of our rental is using the garage as a storage building and is refusing to remove their things?

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What can I do if the owner of our rental is using the garage as a storage building and is refusing to remove their things?

We have been renting for 3 months but have not moved in yet. I live 500 miles

away and am in the process of moving in 2 weeks. In the lease, we have the

home and garage; no where in the lease does it state that he is using garage

for storage. His response is that 1 stall of the garage is more than sufficient and he will not move anything anytime soon. What can I do legally?

Asked on May 31, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You could do either of the following:
1) Use his stated intention to breach or violate the lease by not giving you all the space you are paying for (his "anticipatory breach") as grounds to terminate the lease, not move in, and not pay for the space; this, however, may not be a satisfactory solution if you need to move and have no where else to go or put your belongings.
2) Move in, but then at at some point sue your landlord for "breach of contract" for not providing all the agreed-upon space (i.e the full garage) to recover an amount of compensation equivalent to the rental value of that portion of the space denied you.
If interested in compensation, rather than getting out of the lease, try to see if you can negotiate some credit or reduction in rent for not having the full garage with your landlord: a voluntary resolution is always better than litigation.


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