There are a multitude of reasons why you may need to put your belongings in storage. Maybe your lease is up but you have not found the perfect house yet, or perhaps you are making a cross country move and plan on living in a hotel until you explore the area. Maybe you are even downsizing to a new place and need a storage unit for camping gear, a kayak, or sporting equipment. Whatever the case is, it is important that you choose the right facility, but it is even more important that you understand your rights as a temporary storage renter.
Get Familiar with Terminology
You will probably look at the contract and assume that it is so basic that you do not need to read it. After all, surely every person renting a unit at the facility does not take the time to read the entire thing, right? Well, you should read it, but you should also understand the terminology used. You probably know the basics like that you are the “occupant” and the items inside your unit are your “personal property.” However, there are many more terms to become familiar with. A few key ones include administrative fee, climate control, self-storage insurance, transfer fee, perishable materials, and pro-rated rent.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that your storage agreement is anything like your apartment lease. It is very different. First of all, if you default on your rent, your landlord cannot just come in and have a sale to clear your stuff out. They have to follow procedure, go through the courts, and give you proper notice. However, if you do not pay your storage unit bill, your belongings can be sold. Of course, depending on your agreement, there may still be stipulations and procedures. In many cases, the owner of the facility simply needs to notify you of intent to remove or sell your items in a specified amount of time. This notice is typically sent by certified letter so they have proof that you received it. Read more…