Anything that you are willing to pay money for to be stored safely is something that has value to you. Therefore, it is important to understand the terms and conditions of the self storage facility you are renting from. You will find that the contracts for renting self storage units are typically straightforward and include clauses that are fair to the clients and very reasonable. Below are some of the items that are typically addressed in rental agreements. You should go over and understand this information thoroughly.
How do storage facilities assist with the arrangement of items within the self storage units?
After you pack up and deliver your belongings to the self storage facility, they should be arranged in such as way that they will not get damaged. One way that storage facilities assist with this is by providing stands on the floors of the units. This is done so that boxes and crates sit on them and not on the floor. If it is documents that are being stored, standing filing cabinets may be provided.
Will the facility take care of insuring your items?
In some units, renters are required to take care of insuring the items they store themselves. At some facilities, basic insurance coverage is available for purchase by the renter. However, for those who are storing items of high value like paintings, antiques and motorized items it would be wise to look into personal insurance that reflects the value of these items. The coverage that is given by the facility depends on the size of the unit rented rather than the value of the items stored in it. You can obtain adequate coverage from private insurance companies that specialize in providing coverage for items stored in these types of units.
Who will be responsible for loss or damage of your items?
Unless it is clear that the incident that caused the loss of your items is due to the negligence of the facility, then they are not responsible for the loss. The facility cannot take responsibility for loss or damage caused by factors they cannot control such as floods, earthquakes, storms and other natural disasters.
Will the rate charged for your rental unit remain the same?
A facility may raise the rent of a unit if they find it necessary to do so. However, they are required to give adequate notice of the intention to do so beforehand.
What happens if you accumulate arrears?
If you owe back rent you may not be able to access or remove your belongings. You may also be charged interest on what you owe. Typically the facility will place a lock on your unit door making it impossible for you to retrieve your belongings.
When will you able to access your unit?
Check which days and what times you will have access to the units. You want to be sure you are not inconvenienced when it comes time for you to collect items from your unit. Some facilities may be open 24 hours a day, 7 seven days a week. Some may be closed on Sundays and holidays. Contact the self storage facility to see what their rules are.
When will you remove your items from your unit?
You are required to remove your belongings from your unit before the end of the period indicated on your rental contract. If you did not put down an exit date, as you were not certain how long you would need the storage for, you will need to give the facility adequate notice of your intent to remove your items. This period is typically thirty days and is stated within the contract.
What will happen if you don’t pay the rent on your unit?
Your belongings may be auctioned by the facility if you cannot settle your arrears by a given date. They may also dispose of the items at your expense. You will be given a grace period and notice before these steps are taken. If you do not pay before the grace period expires, one of these steps will be taken. If the unit is auctioned off and sold, you will receive proceeds from the sale after what you owed has been deducted.
Are there items that self storage facilities can refuse to store?
Self storage facilities do not store items that pose any kind of danger. Explosives, pets, food, drink and personal medications are a few items that cannot be stored in these units. It is also not advisable to store cash, expensive jewelry or irreplaceable items. Safe deposit boxes are a better place to store these types of items.
Are rental agreements for self storage containers transferrable?
Agreements are not transferrable. This means that you cannot rent a storage unit, remove your belongings and then leave the unit to someone else to operate under your name. You need to terminate your contract. Do not transfer it to someone else. Should the person you leave it to store items that cause damage like explosives or they are found to be storing something illegal such as unlicensed and unregistered weapons, it is you who will be held responsible. You could potentially find yourself in trouble over a unit you gave away and completely forgot about.