Claim for Rent for Storage

B-196566: Jun 16, 1980

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A firm requested reconsideration of a denial of its claim for rent charged the United States Forest Service for using and occupying various buildings for storage of the Forest Service's personal property. The property in question was on the site of a former Job Corps Center which the Forest Service leased to the State of New Mexico to be used as a rehabilitation center. New Mexico subleased the land to a firm for manufacturing operations. The firm stated at the time of the sublease that it would assume maintenance and repair responsibility for the entire facility. Problems arose between the firm and Forest Service over control and custody of personal property. As a result, it was agreed that the Forest Service could move its personal property to vacant buildings which would then be locked. Subsequently, the firm informed the Forest Service that it was charging the Forest Service equipment storage rent. The firm has consistantly pressed its claim, and the Forest Service has consistantly denied it owes the firm rent. GAO found no basis for implying a bailment contract between the firm and the Forest Service. The Forest Service never assented to the rent charges. GAO affirmed the Claims Division's denial of the firm's claim.

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