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Extra Money: He Rents Barns To City Folks
"It's a good way to make use of empty space," says C.W. Brown, Rising Sun, Maryland, about his sideline business renting his unused barn and other farm buildings to city dwellers who need storage space for boats, trailers, campers, motorcycles, antiques cars and other items.
Brown, who went out of the dairy business and rented out most of his land, has been renting barn space for 10 years. He says the extra income helps pay taxes, insurance and to maintain "handsome old buildings that would otherwise deteriorate".
All in all, Brown rents space in eight buildings ranging from small brooding sheds to the dairy barn. He has 27 or 28 renters year round paying from $15 to $35 a month, depending on how much space is needed, and whether or not they need a high clearance building. Most come from within a 10 to 15 mile radius although he has customers from up to 30 miles away. Only those interested in seasonal or long term storage are welcome. He's not interested in weekenders who take their boat or camper out every weekend for pleasure.
"There is also a market in renting to other farmers," says Brown. "A lot of machinery sits outside during the off season and, with equipment costs rising, it pays for them to protect it from rusting. I also store hay for other farmers on occasion."
Before going into the rental business, Brown and his lawyer drew up a legal agreement which all of his customers sign. This states that he is not responsible for insurance on anything he stores, nor is he responsible for thefts or damage by fire, wind or storm.
Brown provides keys to customers in individual small buildings but says most notify him in advance before coming out to pick up stored property. "It's a little inconvenient but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks," he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, C.W. Brown, 456 Lombard Road, Rising Sun, MD 21911.

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #2