Many people are unsure how to report someone living in a garage. This blog post aims to provide some clarity on how you can make this happen, including how to find the local housing authority and what information they need.
Some of these steps include gathering photos, identifying the property owner, and how to file a complaint with the proper authorities.
So without any further ado, let’s dive right in!
Should You Report Someone Living In a Garage?
Yes, there are several reasons to report someone living in a garage. For starters, it is illegal. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, “It is a violation of the law to use any part of a building or lot not intended for human habitation as living quarters.”
Another reason is safety. People who are living in garages can often be exposed to harsh weather conditions, which can lead to health problems. Additionally, there may be risks associated with having a legally unauthorized person on the property.
Raise your hand if you’re now wondering, “But why is it wrong or dangerous to live in a garage?”
If your hand is raised, here’s the answer.
Why It Is Wrong to Live In a Garage
Here’s the thing. Garages don’t meet the basic legal standards for rental accommodation.
They don’t have adequate facilities, such as running water or toilets. They aren’t big enough for someone to live there. They don’t have a separate room that is completely closed off from the rest of the garage.
Furthermore, living in a garage can be dangerous. Here’s a list of safety issues that come with living in a garage.
- People who are living in garages can often be exposed to harsh weather conditions, which can lead to health problems.
- There is no ventilation in garages, which means that the air quality can be poor.
- There is a greater risk of fire because people living in garages may use unsafe heating methods or cook on their stoves unattended.
- People who live in garages tend not only to have more accidents but also be exposed over time to higher levels of carbon monoxide than those living elsewhere — which means their sleep quality is poor. If you didn’t know already, lots of health issues stem from poor quality sleep including migraines, stress, and even depression.
- Garages are also a magnet for crime. Burglars often target garages because they know that the people living there are vulnerable and have fewer connections to get help.
We know that no one prefers to live in a garage. The people who do only do so because they believe they have no other option. But that’s not true. People who are at risk of being homeless have better alternatives to living in a garage — we will discuss those options in a few moments. But before we do that, let’s first talk about how you can report someone living in a garage.
How to Report Someone Living In a Garage
Now that we have talked about some of the reasons why it is important to report someone living in a garage, let’s discuss how you can do this. The first step is to find your local housing authority.
You can find your local housing authority by calling your city council and asking for their contact information.
Once you have the contact information of your local housing authority, reach out to them and ask them how you can file a complaint. The process will vary depending on the jurisdiction, but generally, you will need to provide evidence such as photos or video footage of the person living in the garage. You may also need to identify the property owner and provide their contact information.
What Happens After You Report Someone
Once you report someone, your local housing authority will take care of the rest. They will investigate and may even take action against the property owner if their rental accommodation doesn’t meet the basic living standards. They will ask the property owner to either stop renting out their garage or make all the improvements necessary for turning it into a suitable living space.
But what happens if the owner stops renting their garage? Does the person living there become homeless? The answer is a resounding no.
Remember, a local housing authority aims to ensure that people are living in suitable conditions. Their aim is not to make the poor homeless. So they will do everything in their power to help the person living in a garage and offer them advice on how to find a better living arrangement.
What You Should Do If You’re Living In a Garage
If you’re living in a garage, the best thing to do is reach out to your local housing authority and ask for help. They will work with you to find a better living arrangement.
You can also call a homeless shelter or contact an organization that helps people who are struggling with homelessness. There are plenty of resources available. So if you don’t get the help you need from one authority, contact another and then another. It won’t be long until you find one that’s able to help you find a better living arrangement.
Living in a garage is wrong for many reasons. We’ve thoroughly discussed those reasons in this post. So if you’ve seen your neighbor renting their garage to someone, you should report them. It’s neither legal nor right to ask someone to pay money for living in a garage, especially since there are several better alternatives available.
In case you are living in a garage yourself, you should seek help by trying the following:
- Search for suitable accommodation with a private landlord
- Contact local shelters or city council for help and advice
- Research all the options for people who are at risk of being homeless