Every year, thousands of individuals rent storage facilities to store their spare stuff or to keep them secure while they travel. We don’t think twice about it since it’s so normal. But what happens to everything you leave in storage?
You don’t have enough room in your house, so you located and leased an excellent self-storage facility. This is where you’ve kept all of your excess items, and you’ve been a nice renter. But after months or even years of paying the storage charge on time, things start to fall apart, and you are no longer able to afford it.
Perhaps your finances suffered the consequences of a big life event, like an end of a marriage or the loss of a job, or perhaps you rented the storage unit with someone who is no longer able to pay their part of the fee.
So, what happens if you leave your belongings in a storage unit? When you are late on your storage unit rent, you will usually be granted a few days to sort out the payment. If you do not, late payment charges will be applied to your rent.
If you fail to make a specific amount of payments, your storage unit will be declared abandoned. When a unit is deemed abandoned, the property manager has the authority to seize and auction the items. Many individuals go to storage unit auctions hoping to uncover precious artifacts and antiques.
If you are already having difficulty paying your storage unit fee and are concerned about what will happen to your belongings if you skip a few payments, you have come to the perfect place. Continue reading to learn more about storage units and what happens to the items you leave in them.
What Should I Do If I Can’t Pay My Storage Unit Rent Any Longer?
If you have experienced a significant life event that has affected your finances and expect that you will no longer be able to pay the storage fee on time, it is preferable to take your belongings out of the storage unit. Speak to the property manager and explain why you wish to leave. They will give you clear instructions on how to move out, and they will even assist you if you have been a good client.
Notify The Property Manager
Everyone realizes that life happens and that things change as a result. Unfortunately, you don’t always get what you expect.
So, if you think that circumstances have changed and that self-storage rent is no longer feasible, notify your property manager of your intention to take a vacation. Ideally, you should provide at least five or six days’ notice before moving out.
The notice allows the property manager to have enough time to prepare the papers and verify that everything is in order for you to go. If you change your mind before the notice expires, inform the property manager that you are staying and will continue your payment for the next month.
Don’t Leave Things Behind
When packing, double-check your storage area and pick up everything. If you leave things behind with the aim of someday collecting them, you may be charged a clean-up fee based on the items you left behind.
If you have items that you no longer use, consider donating them to those who may need them rather than storing them in a storage unit. A donation center is available at the majority of self-storage facilities.
Clean Everything Before You Leave
Take care of the self-storage unit’s condition and clean everything before you leave. Consider how the storage unit appeared when you moved in and try to reproduce it when you go out.
Sweep the floors, remove any debris, and inform the property manager of any storage unit damages. Remember that if you tidy up but leave the unit locked so that it is still occupied on your renewal date, you may still be held liable and made to pay.
What Happens If I Leave My Items in a Storage Unit?
When they can no longer afford to pay the storage charge, some people prefer to leave their belongings in the storage unit rather than move out. So, what happens if you leave your things in a storage facility?
Before we address your question, we’d want to refer you to the lease agreement you signed when you rented the property. You will be obliged to pay the storage fee on a specific date, just like you would with an apartment lease. A few days of grace may be added, but this is not assured.
If you wish to keep using the storage facility, you must keep up with the payments. So, what happens if you don’t pay your rent on time?
Your Storage Unit Will Go Into Default
What happens if you don’t pay your rent on time is usually extensively detailed in the lease agreement you sign. When you agree to the conditions of the contract, the property manager will ask you to write down the point of default on your storage unit.
The grace period specifies how many days you may go without paying the storage fee before things get out of hand. Typically, the grace period is 30 days.
You will be locked out of the storage unit if you are in default. Your unit’s lock will be cut and replaced with a red lock by the property manager. They may also place a note on the unit’s door advising you not to try to enter, which you must respect regardless of how much you want to go in there to grab anything.
The Facility Manager Will Make An Attempt To Contact You.
The most important thing to understand about this entire process is that no storage facility wants to auction off your belongings because storage auctions are not profitable.
Storage auctions, in reality, cost the facility a lot of lost time that might have been spent maintaining the unit or serving other clients. Because lien rules differ from state to state, even minor errors in the auction process might result in legal battles.
As a result, they will contact you multiple times before beginning the auction process. They aren’t just doing it because the law compels it. They are doing so because they want to work with you to come up with a solution that does not entail auctioning off your belongings.
There Is A Long Period Of Time Between Default And Auction.
Before your items are auctioned off, a certain period of time must pass. It might range between 30 and 90 days. Be sure to verify your state’s lien regulations.
However, if you reside in a high-demand location for self-storage units, don’t anticipate your unit to stay any longer than the minimum length of time required by law. After all, it is a business, and the owner is looking to make a profit.