In the simplest of the terms, a self storage unit refers to the storage space that is rented to tenants on short term basis. As the lease on storage space expires, tenants have an option to either renew it by paying more rent or empty the rented storage space.
Self storage industry is a comparatively new industry. The first self storage building opened for business in 1958 in Florida. Till late 1990s there was relatively slow development of the industry but after the year 2000, self storage industry has seen rapid progress.
Records show that in the last decade, 3000 self storage units were built every year. The self storage industry is primarily based in the United States of America. It is estimated that out of the sixty thousand self storage facilities worldwide, fifty thousand are in America alone.
- Insurance policy:
Self storage industry provides no insurance cover on the items stored in its units. The person who leases a unit can get third party insurance on his goods. There are some self storage units that provide their customers with insurance agreements to attract more customers but this is only an exception.
Each self storage unit is secured by the lessor’s own lock and key. The key remains safe with the person who rents the storage unit. Unlike other storage facilities like warehouses, self storage employees have no access to the items stored in a unit.
However, if a customer forgets to lock his unit then the employees may lock it with their own lock until the customer returns and puts his own lock on the unit. Some self storage units even allow the customer to put customized hi-tech security solutions in place. For example some units allow the customers to place third party biometric locks on the unit’s door.
The self storage units usually do not show any interest in the items stored by their customers with one exceptional scenario when the customer has failed to pay rent for a considerable amount of time. In such conditions a lien is imposed on the items stored within the unit.
- Storage auctions:
In the United States of America, under the Federal law, the self storage industry has the right to hold auctions for the items of those tenants who have failed to pay their rents. Such auctions are known as storage auctions. The law states that in order to hold a storage auction, the facilities owner must place a public advertisement in a national news paper.
This advertisement is expected to inform the general public about the storage auction to be held. A notice is also sent to the person who originally leased the storage unit. The law also grants the tenant in lien the right to pay his outstanding bills and reclaim his possessions anytime before the auction has started.
However, once the storage auction has started, the tenant loses all his claims to the stored items and if he wishes to get them back, he must bid in the auction like anyone else.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Daniel D is the owner of a microstorage center facility in the New York City. He is also a member of the Self Storage Association of the United States of America.