The Arizona Self Storage Association has been trying to push a bill that will protect tenant documents, HB2643, through the Arizona legislature. Last week HB2653 passed another milestone on its way to becoming a law — it passed the Arizona House Commerce Committee. The law will impose certain restrictions on what can be done with personal documents that are placed in self-storage, and what should happen to those documents in the event that the tenant abandons a self-storage unit without removing its contents. The bill is meant to prevent possible cases of identity theft if documents that are abandoned were to fall into the wrong hands.
HB2643, if passed, will place certain responsibilities with the self-storage tenant and will provide some protection for self-storage operators if they are placed in the position of being left with personal documents that have been abandoned in a unit. Specifically, the new bill has the following provisions:
- It subjects the tenant to a penalty for abandoning private documents.
- It requires tenants to disclose to the self-storage operator whether or not they are storing personal financial documents (particularly documents belonging to other parties, such as old loan applications or mortgage documents, which are often archived in self-storage–but also documents which may contain the tenant’s own personal financial information).
- It prohibits self-storage operators from selling protected property (private information) if they have been notified that private information is contained among abandoned goods.
- It protects self-storage operators from being held liable for the sale or destruction of private information if the tenant did not disclose to the operator that such information was being stored in the unit.