Improved Lien Laws a National Focus for Self Storage

Posted on Apr 1 2011 - 11:46am by Winnie Hsiu

In a nation as diverse as the United States it is not common that there is something that can be readily agreed upon. With the growing popularity of auctions at self storage facilities (as a result of lien laws being carried out) an interest has grown in the industry nationwide to make certain changes happen in regards to the lien laws that are on the books.

This year the Self Storage Association (SSA) is working in conjunction with the respective state associations to get the necessary changes turned into law. With so many states that could use changing or updating, the SSA will be concentrating its resources to make certain that change is affected in the following states representing approximately 10,000 self storage facilities (the number in parenthesis is the number of facilities in that state:  Colorado (995), Connecticut (310), Florida (2,579), Georgia (1,580), Illinois (1,569), Maine (553), Massachusetts (295),  Nevada (458), Tennessee (1,201), Utah (531). Texas is also working on its laws which would add an additional 4,000+ facilities.

Each individual state likely has its own particular needs when it comes to changing the laws since they are specific to each state. That has not stopped the SSA, a national body that promotes and supports the interest of the self storage industry across the country, from drawing up a template which state associations can work from to get their respective laws updated/ changed. However, there are some base changes that the SSA hopes to get affected in each state.

For example, doing away with the requirement that auction notices be printed in the local paper is one which proponents are hopeful can be changed in each of the states. The bottom line is that using newspapers is an antiquated method which is no longer sufficient to the task that was intended.

“Thirty years ago this may have been an adequate system of notification, but today it is simply antiquated and, I believe, only serves the goodwill of the publishers of the newspapers,” Colorado’s Hank Saipe said. “I submit that no industry should be required to provide financial sustenance to another industry simply because the recipient industry has become accustomed to that revenue.”

Some states have already affected such a change. Two years ago the state of Arizona began to allow self storage facilities the option of using newspapers or another method of notification. The SSA has advocated the use of mail verification, something that is just as likely to get the message out, but is less expensive at the same time.

Florida, Colorado, Maine, and Utah already have new laws working their way through their respective state legislature’s process.

Sources Used:

“Lien Law updates Could Help 10,000 properties.” SSA Globe; March 2011.

“Time for Self Storage Lobbying Efforts to Pay Off.” Self Storage Industry News; 18 February 2011.