Renting a storage space isn't a complex ordeal. As the renter, you are expected to pay a monthly fee in exchange for a secure place to keep your belongings. There are laws governing the way storage units are handled when disputes or other problems arise, but they vary from state to state. The best way to know what rights you have as a renter or as the owner of the property is to check your local laws. However, there are some basic laws that are common in many places regarding storage rental.
As the owner of the storage space, you have the right to receive your rent in the full amount and on time. There are obviously going to be times when everyone does not comply with the due date for rent, but there is something that can be done immediately and legally to deter late payments. Charging a late fee is within the owner's rights and can typically be multiplied for each month that the renter is late with that month's payment.
If rent is due by the fifth of the month and the late fee is $20, then the late fee can legally become $40 after the fifth of the next month if the renter has not caught up with payments.
The rental agreement on a storage facility must typically show any insurance protecting the stored property that is required by the renter. This may be fire insurance, theft insurance or other policy that protects the items in storage from damage through precarious means.
By signing the agreement the renter is agreeing to take on the responsibility of insuring the property or else be in violation of the contract. Therefore, the renter must be made fully aware in print of the requirement at the time of the rental.
In some states the renter must let the storage facility owner know in advance of signing an agreement if any property within the storage facility has a lien on it or is secured by another person or business. This may include items used as collateral on a secured loan or items bought on store credit that have not been paid for yet.
Sale Of Property
If the renter of a storage space is delinquent on rent for more than 30 days, the owner must notify the renter if he plans to follow up on the default and repossess the property inside the storage unit as payment.
If the renter does not pay the back rent and the notification has been made, the owner can sell the property stored in the unit at a public sale for cash. If the renter pays all past-due rent and associated late fees before the sale, the owner must give the property back to the owner but may force the renter to take it elsewhere.
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.