Over the last few years the self storage industry has become pretty big business. Due to different circumstances people in the U.S. have found a need for self storage space and have been using it. However, as business began to boom so did the need for change to existing self storage related laws. While there has been significant progress there is still need for more.
The state of Maryland could be seeing some changes to legislation related to self storage any day now. The state senate was scheduled to take a vote on Friday to approve a new law that would allow self storage operators easier access to units of delinquent renters.
The law is very friendly to self storage operators. Gone would be the requirement for two notices. Only one would be necessary and it could even be sent via email. Operators would also be able to charge a late fee of either $20 or 20 percent of monthly rent (the greater of the two).
Once a renter is 90 days behind the contents can be auctioned off.
There are concerns that only requiring one notice and allowing it to be sent via email and possibly get lost in spam folders could end up in some people not knowing that their unit is being auctioned off. This would in turn cause more issues when they discover their belongings have been sold off without their knowledge.
Last year the Florida Self Storage Association succeeded in lobbying for change to their existing lien laws; the changes became effective on July 1. Self Storage operators are now allowed to notify tenants of delinquency in cheaper more effective methods like email as long as a Certificate of Mailing is included.
Not willing to rest on its laurels after a three year fight the FSSA is looking to get some additional changes made in the coming year. The hope is to make some changes in the way public notices are made; possibly discover some options. Vehicle lien laws could stand to be improved as well.
Currently self storage operators include a provision in contract stating that the maximum value of goods placed inside a unit can only be a certain amount, often between $5000 and $10000. In light of some of the challenges that other states have had regarding those rules they are looking to make improvements to those laws as well.
” Md. bill would shorten notice before self-storage containers emptied.”Washington Examiner; 14 March 2013.
“Florida Self Storage Association Outlines 2013 Legislative Agenda.” Inside Self Storage; 12 March 2013.
“Florida Governor Signs Self-Storage Lien-Statute Revision Into Law.” Inside Self Storage; 30 April 2012.