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Are you considering renting a storage unit, or perhaps you are a storage unit owner? In either case, it's critical to be informed about the rights accorded to storage unit renters to ensure a hassle-free and secure experience. 

Tag along as we examine the significance of these rights and how they might affect your rental agreement.

The Self-Service Storage Facility Act, passed by state legislatures, sets down the rights and responsibilities of both storage unit providers and tenants. Once you've familiarized yourself with this act, you'll be more prepared to deal with any potential self-storage legal issues. Understanding the available rights also enables renters to cut through the noise and make informed decisions when choosing a storage facility and signing a rental agreement.

Storage unit renters are allowed several fundamental rights, including access to their units. Throughout the facility's operating hours, you should anticipate having unrestricted access to your rented space as a tenant. This means you can store or retrieve your belongings with ease and assurance. Even so, it's crucial to be familiar with the policies and procedures outlined by your selected storage facility, as they may be slight variations.

Another crucial feature of storage unit renters' rights is privacy. You have the right to be guaranteed that the workers at the storage facility and other renters won't have unauthorized access to your possessions. This guarantee of privacy is essential because it guards against potential theft and damage to you and your property.

You also have the right to complain or report any concerns to the facility management. This ensures that any issues you could have, such as system failures, potential vulnerabilities, or disputes with the facility, can be immediately and successfully resolved. Don't be reluctant to use this privilege when necessary, as it helps maintain a satisfying rental experience for both you and the storage facility.

It's also critical to understand self-storage lien laws by state, as they can significantly differ. Understanding the protocols that a storage facility must follow if a renter defaults on rent will help you avoid any legal challenges.

Lastly, the pandemic brought on new legislation, such as New York’s Pandemic Self-Storage Act, which temporarily prohibited self-storage facility owners from enforcing liens held on personal property in their storage before August 31, 2022[1]. Protecting your interests requires keeping up with any adjustments or modifications to storage unit renters' rights resulting from the pandemic.

Storage Unit Eviction

Renting a storage unit comes with commitments like timely payments and conformity to facility regulations. Failure to meet the obligations can lead to storage unit eviction. Let's explore the eviction process, from the initial notice period to the associated legal procedures.

First, it's important to get down to how long before a storage unit is considered abandoned. In most cases, a storage facility may be considered abandoned if the rent has not been paid for a predetermined amount of time, typically around 30 days. The specifics of your rental agreement and state legislation, however, may affect this period. To avoid any misconceptions, it's essential to be aware of the precise conditions mentioned in your contract.

Storage facility management must issue the renter a notice before initiating the storage unit eviction process. A typical example is the 30-day notice to vacate the storage unit. This notice reminds the tenant that they are given a particular amount of time to settle any unpaid rent or vacate the rental property.

The storage facility may proceed with the eviction after the necessary notices have been delivered and the stipulated waiting period has elapsed. This frequently entails auctioning off the unit's contents to recoup the unpaid rent. However, other states might have further procedures, such as mandating that the facility issue a public storage notice of the auction or giving the renter one last chance to claim their possessions before the sale. The exact stages can differ by state, so it's important to understand the specifics in your locality.

Storage Unit Eviction Process

Storage unit eviction laws differ by state, but there are a few common reasons why a renter can be subject to eviction. Non-payment of rent is the main reason. Storage facilities depend on prompt rent payments to keep running. If a tenant repeatedly defaults, the facility has the right to start the eviction process. Renters must be aware of their payment due dates and any applicable grace periods mentioned in their rental agreement.

Violating facility policies is another frequent cause of eviction. Usually, storage facilities have stringent rules in place to guarantee the security and safety of all renters and their property. These regulations might place limitations on the storage of items like hazardous materials. Explosive, corrosive, or flammable materials may pose a serious risk to the facility, its occupants, and the neighborhood. Always take note of the prohibited items to stay on the safe side.

Tenants must also abide by the facility's access hours. Storage facilities typically have set access times for tenants. Doing this reduces the risk of theft or vandalism. Violating this may lead to a warning or potential eviction.

The COVID-19 pandemic also influenced the storage unit eviction process, with several states and municipalities establishing temporary protections for renters. These safeguards include extended grace periods, eviction moratoriums, or mandates for offering payment plans.

The storage unit eviction process usually begins with a written notice from the facility. This notice may vary, such as a 30- or 10-day notice to vacate the storage unit. If the renter fails to take action within the set timeframe, the storage facility may progress with the eviction process.

Storage Unit Auction Laws

The eviction process can involve staging a lien sale to auction off the contents of the unit. Storage facilities hold storage unit auctions as a way to collect unpaid rent and fees by selling the contents of abandoned or overdue storage units. These auctions also help them clear out units so they can be rented out to new clients. Storage unit auction laws govern the process to ensure both renters and storage facilities have a fair chance.

Storage unit operators must check out several steps before setting up an auction. Storage facilities are mandated to give customers a grace period, usually 30 days, to pay their outstanding balance before their belongings are sold at auction. The renter still has the chance to settle their debt and get their belongings back during this time.

However, the storage facility has the right to lock the tenant out of their unit if they don't pay within the grace period. The facility must then notify the renter, generally via mail, about the approaching auction. This notice will contain details about the time, place, and rights of the renter during the auction.

Storage building repossession laws offer some protections to renters during the auction process. One crucial right is the chance to reclaim their assets before they are sold. To do this, the renter must pay the amount owed, plus any late fees and auction-related expenses incurred by the facility.

Storage unit auction laws may also dictate how the auctions are held. These regulations may include providing a detailed inventory of the unit's contents and ensuring the auction is conducted fairly and transparently. These rules are intended to shield the facility and the renter from any potential disagreements or legal issues that might arise during the auction process.

Storage Unit Rent Increase Laws

How often does public storage increase rent? The answer often depends on your location and the company's policies.

Storage unit rental rates are prone to fluctuate. Storage unit owners often raise rental rates at set intervals, with certain real estate investment trusts (REITs) opting for more frequent increases. Some self-storage companies have a history of raising rent for ongoing clients more frequently, sometimes twice yearly[2].

Understanding the specifics of storage unit rent increase is crucial for both renters and facility owners, as it helps establish a fair and transparent renting experience. Some states, like California, have placed temporary restrictions on storage rent increases, placing a cap of 10% in 2022[3]. While specific laws regulating storage unit rent increases may not be as prevalent as those for residential properties, certain guidelines and practices can help protect renters from unfair rent hikes and also protect unit owners.

Being aware of a facility's rent increase practices can help renters plan and budget accordingly. To ensure that customers are notified about rent increases, storage facilities often send out a storage unit rent increase letter. This letter typically provides details about the new rental rate and the effective date of the change. It is crucial for unit owners to clearly define their rent increase policies and for renters to carefully review the lease agreement they signed with the storage facility, as it may provide information about rental increase practices and any advance notice required.

When renting a storage unit, it is always a good idea for renters to ask about the company's rent-increase practices to avoid any surprises. While it is not illegal for storage facilities to raise monthly rates, being aware of their policies can help renters plan and budget accordingly.

There you go! With these tips and guidelines, renters and storage unit owners can enjoy a mutually satisfying relationship. If you are looking to reach more renters for your storage facility, reach out to sales@adverank.com today to learn more about how our marketing team can leverage PPC to grow your business presence.


[1] https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/A1423

[2] https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-02-05/column-coronavirus-self-storage-rate-hikes