As changes to lien laws sweep across the country for the self storage industry, Colorado is the latest state to enact changes to streamline the legal process. Last week, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law Senate Bill 11-039, “A Bill for an Act Concerning the Consequences of Default in Payments Due for Storage of Personal Property in a Self-Storage Facility” which improves the state’s lien laws for self storage operators.
Introduced to the Colorado legislature in January, the bill was championed by the national Self Storage Association, the Colorado Self Storage Association, and lobbyist firm Colorado Communique Inc. which was hired by the CoSSA. The bill includes several changes:
• It eliminates the Certified Mail requirement for lien-sale notifications, allowing such notices to be sent via e-mail or, in the absence of an e-mail address or response, any form of verified First Class mail.
• It eliminates the newspaper-publishing requirement for lien sales, instead allowing any “commercially reasonable” form of advertising. (Three or more independent bidders must be present at the auction for it to be deemed commercially reasonable.)
• It provides a simpler lien process for self-storage spaces containing vehicles, allowing the facility operator to tow the vehicle if rent goes unpaid for 60 days or more.
According to the SSA, the savings to Colorado self-storage operators as a result of the new law will be between $1.3 and $2 million. The bill was sponsored by Senator Lois Tochtrop and House Representative Tom Massey. The first Senate hearing for the bill took place at the end of January. Mike Humphrey and Hank Saipe of the CoSSA testified in favor of the measure as well as Tim Dietz, senior vice president of the SSA.
Other states are falling into line regarding revamping of lien laws for self storage. The Arkansas Self Storage Association is working on passing a law to improve their lien process as well. A bill geared towards cutting down costs for self storage facility owners and saving them time in the lien notification process with delinquent tenants.
Nevada is looking to make some changes to their self storage laws as well, mainly in regards to the lien laws. One of the main things looking to be changed is the means of notification that self storage owners must give tenants. If what they want gets passed than all storage owners will have to do is send it by some sort of verifiable method. Once that is done the owners is free to auction off the unit (no need for a notice in the newspaper anymore either.
“Colorado Self-Storage Operators Have New Lien Law.” Inside Self-Storage. April 18, 2011.
Gonzalez, Tony. State Legislatures Starting To Update Lien Laws. Self Storage Industry News. March 24, 2011.