Self storage or mini storage contracts are designed to protect the owner of the self
storage facility as well as you. Before you sign the contract you will need to carefully
review each clause (and even the fine print) before you fully understand not only your rights and
obligations but also the facilities rights and obligations.
Understand The Self Storage Contract You're Signing
Contracts are never easy to review and you often feel pressured to get them signed and get the deal
closed. But, before you rush to sign your self storage contract you want to make sure that you understand
what you're signing. You should carefully review for the following items:
What Access Do Employees of The Self Storage Facility Have To Your Belongings?
Most self storage facilities limit access to your belongings to you or your designated person. Employees
of the self storage facility typically can only access your self storage unit if you fail to make a
payment or in the event of an emergency.
Can The Self Storage Owner Move Your Property From One Location To Another?
While typically this cannot be done, you may discover that your belongings are moved from one location
and placed in a different location. This practice should be covered in your contract and should
specifically state reasons for these types of moves. It is strictly prohibited in most states for a
self storage owner to move your property purely for the reasons of offering your space to another customer.
Infestations of bugs or varmints, failure of temperature controls, fire or other events may allow this access.
Read Your Self Storage Contract For Additional Charges
Before you sign a contract find out what additional charges you might be facing due to mail delay in
your payments, required insurance payments, access charges or other additional charges which you may
find only in the self storage contract. Carefully review all policies of the self storage company before
you sign the contract and make sure you're not paying additional fees for special services that you
might not even require.
Your Access To The Facility
Your self storage or mini storage contract should carefully lay out any access issues that you might
encounter. You will want to review for times when you may not have access to your unit, restrictions
on who may access your unit and also any charges that may be incurred if you need access. You will also
want to determine from your contract if you need to contact the self storage facility prior to accessing
your unit. Also, you may wish to check out our article about
gaining access to your self storage unit.
Self Storage Insurance
Your contract will be the key to understanding the insurance requirements of the self storage
facility as well as any insurance that the self storage facility might supply to you. If you do not
see anything in the contract about insurance, be sure to find out and get in writing any insurance
that might be in place to protect you. For more information, you may wish to check out our article
about self storage insurance.
Non Payment Clauses
We all have things occur that can impact our ability to make payments on our self storage units. Find
out what your rights and responsibilities are in regards to all payments on your self storage and mini
storage units. You will want a clear understanding of late payments, multiple missed payments and other
events that can impact your storage. Payment methods that are acceptable to the self storage facility
should also be clearly laid out in your contract. If they are not please be sure to get them in writing
before signing a contract!
Mini Storage Locks
Some self storage facilities allow you to purchase and place your own locks on units that you're renting
while others require that you purchase or rent specially designed locks from them. When reviewing your
contract be sure to check carefully for clauses that might relate to security of your individual self storage
or mini storage unit.
Length of Storage Unit Lease
Since you're renting a unit you may find that you have a minimum or maximum time that you are allowed to
hold the lease. Typically self storage facilities do not have maximum time that you can store your items
but they may have minimums. Be certain to carefully check your contract for any such limitations.
Self storage contracts like any other type of contract need to be completely reviewed before signing.
You don't want to sign a contract only to discover after the fact that you failed to notice some very
important clause that can limit your access, result in excess costs or not protect you in the event of damage
to your property. Smart shopping will help you get the most out of your self storage.