Self storage is still one of the most practical and affordable ways to help you declutter your home. It provides you with a clean, safe space to store your belongings. However, before you can enjoy the benefits of self storage, you need to understand the self storage contracts that come with it.
In this blog post, we will explain some of the most common terms used in self storage contracts, as well as provide tips on what should be included. Knowing what to look for in self storage contracts will help ensure that you are getting the best deal possible without any hidden surprises!
Self Storage Contracts Essentials
Self storage contracts or agreements are usually pretty straightforward but should contain the following:
- The contact details of both parties to which the agreement applies
- A start date for when the self storage contract begins
- The number of your storage unit
- A description and size of the unit you are renting
- The monthly rental amount and when it is due
- How you are expected to pay for your rental, i.e. direct debit, credit card or cash etc.
- Guidelines on how to terminate the contract, i.e. notice period, and how the company would like to receive notice
- What constitutes a breach of contract, i.e. failure to make a payment or store prohibited items
Terms and Conditions of Self Storage Contracts
As with any legal document, there are also terms and phrases in self storage contracts you need to understand. To make it a little easier, here are some common legal terms most facilities use in self storage contracts:
Right of lien
A right of lien is a legal claim that a storage facility has on your belongings. If you fail to make payments on your storage unit, the facility has the right to sell your belongings to recoup their losses.
Release of Liability Waiver
A release of liability waiver is a document that states that the storage facility is not responsible for any damage or loss that may occur to you or your belongings while at the storage facility. This is a common clause in self-storage contracts, so be sure to read over this carefully before signing your agreement.
An indemnification clause protects the storage facility from any legal claims that may arise from your use of the facility. This means that if you or your belongings damage the facility or a third party at the facility in any way, you or your insurance company will be responsible for the repairs.
A breach of contract occurs when you violate the terms of your agreement. This can include failing to make payments, damaging the storage facility, or storing prohibited items in your unit. If you breach your contract, the storage facility has the right to terminate your agreement.
Exclusion of Warranties
This clause states that the storage facility does not make any promises or guarantees about the condition of your storage unit. The facility cannot be held responsible if your belongings are damaged or stolen while in storage.
Self Storage Contracts: Useful Questions To Ask Your Provider
Now that you have a clearer understanding of some of the legal jargon in self storage contracts, here are a few questions you should ask your self storage provider before signing anything:
What Can’t I Put In My Storage Unit?
It’s important to know what should and should not be kept in a self storage unit. Doing so can help protect your belongings and those around you. Certain items should never be stored in a self storage unit, as they pose a fire hazard or damage other belongings. These items include:
- Live animals and pets
- Flammable, dangerous or corrosive liquids such as petrol, oil, paint thinner, alcohol and propane
- Drugs, weapons, ammunition or illegal items
- Perishable food items
- Important documentation
- Family heirlooms
- Humans (you may not live in your self storage unit)
- Items susceptible to moisture or water damage
- Items that are sensitive to extreme temperatures
When signing self storage contracts, be sure to read through the entire agreement carefully. Pay close attention to any clauses that may be added, as these could potentially impact the terms of your agreement.
What Happens If I Can’t Pay For My Self Storage Unit?
If you fail to make payments on your storage unit, the facility has the right to sell your belongings to recoup their losses. This is known as a ‘right of lien’ and is a common clause in self-storage contracts. However, it doesn’t quite work like what you see on the television programme Storage Wars. It is illegal for storage providers to auction off abandoned goods in the UK.
All self storage providers, including Space Centre Self Storage, must follow a 3-step process before attempting to sell your items.
- Step 1: They will make numerous attempts to contact you via phone, email and post.
- Step 2: Abandoned items will be valued to determine the total value of the contents in the unit.
- Step 3: The storage provider will contact antique dealers and second-hand furniture stores to sell the items in an attempt to recoup their costs. Items that cannot be sold often end up in the bin.
What Can To Do If I Can’t Pay My Storage Unit Rental?
If you are having difficulty making payments, be sure to reach out to the self storage facility as soon as possible. They may be able to work with you to come up with a payment plan that works for both parties. You could also give the storage company notice and consider storing your items in your garage at home or perhaps selling or disposing of anything you no longer need.
Remember, selling your stuff is only a last resort as most companies would prefer not to go through this process. They most often will try to find an alternative arrangement.
Other Key Questions Associated With Self Storage Contracts
When signing self storage contracts, it would be wise to check the following with your storage provider:
- When can you access your unit, or are they open 24/7?
- Do you need to insure the contents of your unit or do they provide storage insurance? Some storage insurance providers include Surewise, Insurastore and Store-Insure
- Is there security, and is the facility staffed?
- Can the storage provider enter your unit without your permission?
Conclusion On Self Storage Contracts
By understanding the terms of self storage contracts, you can help protect your belongings while ensuring you get the most from the facility. Never sign anything without reading it properly and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. Keep these tips in mind when signing a contract, and feel free to reach out to us.
Visit our website for more information, and we’ll do our best to find the perfect storage unit for you. The experienced and friendly staff at Space Centre Self Storage are on hand to answer all your questions about the costs involved and help you better understand our self storage contracts.