Contrary to what you might think, you can’t store what you want in every garage ! With the explosion of storage and furniture storage spaces, everyone wants to rent their garage to earn money. Some configurations can cause you a lot of problems, whether you are a landlord or tenant.
The US and European law imposes deposit rules that change according to the configuration of your garage.
- Underground parking or under dwellings : it is forbidden to store equipment
- Common covered car park without accommodation above : storage of furniture not recommended
- Garage outside the two previous cases: storage of authorized furniture storage
- Misjudgment can cost you a lot of money : insurance cancellation !
- How can you be sure that you have the right to store objects ?
- Owner : how to protect yourself in case of a problem ?
- You say, « It’s forbidden, but everyone does it »
Underground parking or under dwellings : it is forbidden to store equipment
Few people know this, but it is a decree on the risk of fire in underground car parks that justifies this ban. A car park or underground garage or under residential units is intended for vehicle parking. It is therefore prohibited to store anything. In case of fire, the responsibility of the owner and the tenant may be engaged. If the fire is fanned by clothes, cardboard boxes, furniture, liquids, tires, etc… it is the beginning of problems !
Common covered car park without accommodation above : storage of furniture not recommended
In a shared parking lot, you can store a few boxes. In most cases, it is the co-owners who determine the limits. If your neighbours are tolerant, you can store some equipment (cardboard boxes, bicycles) in front of your vehicle. Needless to say, you must keep this space tidy. Conversely, storage will be prohibited… the primary function of this parking lot must remain vehicle parking.
Garage outside the two previous cases: storage of authorized furniture storage
In a garage that is not in an underground car park, nor in a shared car park (double garage shared with another co-owner) ; you can store what you want! You are not required to park a vehicle and can use this garage as a storage facility. Rent it using our free rental lease and its special version for storage.
Misjudgment can cost you a lot of money : insurance cancellation !
A member of our club rented a garage located underground and close to homes. A fire broke out in the parking lot. Fortunately, the fire did not start directly in his garage but in a neighbour’s garage. The report of the firefighters’ expert pointed out that the “belongings, boxes, cans, books and furniture” stored in his garage had increased the fire and increased the harmfulness of the smoke.
With such a conclusion, this member saw several insurances relieve their liability for this fault related to the decree on private car parks. The penal code defines the risk caused to others even aggravated his case; since he was aware that his tenant was storing when it was prohibited in the co-ownership regulations. His tenant was not worried because he had never been aware of the written ban in the common parking regulations. That’s why we recommend that you forward the payment to your tenants….
Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire and the material damage can be repaired. Nevertheless, I can assure you that this member’s bad experience is a lesson to all those who want to earn a little more money by renting a storage space even if it is forbidden.
💡 Did you know that ?
Be careful when you agree to rent a garage for storage, in some cases it can be very expensive! If you want to know more, our lawyer explains this in detail on the forum and gives you tips on how to rent serenely.
How can you be sure that you have the right to store objects ?
In case of doubt, you can consult the co-ownership regulations with your landlord; or directly via the syndic if your site is located in a co-ownership. If the words « exclusively for vehicles parking » appear in the co-ownership regulations, you do not have the right to store business.
Owner : how to protect yourself in case of a problem ?
There are several ways to circumvent this prohibition. If you are a landlord, the most common technique is to unload your responsibility on your tenant. The idea is to have a rental contract signed exclusively for vehicle parking. You can use and download our free template.
In the event of a fire, the insurance companies are looking for someone to be responsible. If the landlord does not know about the storage activity of his tenant, he is not theoretically liable. Be careful, you have to be blameless in this kind of situation. Make it clear that storage is prohibited without implying otherwise.
You say, « It’s forbidden, but everyone does it »
That is the real debate on this subject, just because everyone stores things in a garage doesn’t mean you can do it without ignoring the decrees of law and the risks. In the event of a problem, each person must assume the consequences of his or her actions. Our lawyer often compares this subject with the traffic regulations. You must respect the speed limits, yes, not everyone respects them. Being caught on radar is only a fine to pay and the withdrawal of points on your license. Run over a child on the road while drunk, your insurance is withdrawn, you pay for your whole life. The case of storage is similar, if someone dies in a car park fire; the person in charge or those who contributed directly or indirectly will pay for their entire lives.