Storage units allow you to keep things you don't have room for. However, if things go wrong, you can lose your storage unit for nonpayment and your items will go to auction. There are laws on the books to protect both renters and storage unit providers. Additionally, people seeking to win forfeited storage items at auction will want to know their legal parameters.While laws vary from one state to another, there are some commonalities.
When you sign up for a storage unit in many states you are agreeing that the storage company has a lien on all property contained in your storage unit. This lien is transferred to the company's heirs should the company go out of business. The lien entitles the company to sell your items to recover any debt you may owe.
Most states allow you to redeem your property before it is sold. This means that there is a grace period where you can repay all outstanding debts before your storage unit contents are sold. The storage company must notify the storage unit tenant of the intention to sell the goods inside. This notice must include notice of your deadline to pay all back rent. If you fail to pay by this day, the company can declare that you have abandoned your property.
Read More: Storage Rental Laws
Several states have laws regarding notification of delinquent tenants. Florida law, for example, requires that the tenant be notified by registered mail to his last known address. Additionally, there must be notice posted in an easily visible place at the facility or on the tenant's unit. The notice is required to include an itemized bill of all outstanding fees along with a notice stating clearly that if the tenant does not pay back charges that his items will be auctioned.
When auctioning off the contents of a tenants storage unit, the company must provide a public announcement about the auction in a form of an advertisement. The advertisement is required to include information such as what the believed contents of the storage unit are, the location of the storage unit and the tenant's name.
Nicholas Pell began writing professionally in 1995. His features on arts, culture, personal finance and technology have appeared in publications such as "LA Weekly," Salon and Business Insider. Pell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.