Inside Self Storage has announced that its 2010 World Expo, which will be held in Las Vegas from March 1-3, will focus on legal issues affecting self-storage owners. On the second day of the Expo, Ohio attorney Jeffrey Greenberger will present a four-hour workshop on legal issues, called “Legal Learning Live.” Greenberger is a partner at Katz, Greenberger & Norton in Cincinnati, and runs a website dedicated to legal issues affecting the self-storage industry, SelfStorageLegal.com.
Self-storage owners and operators deal with legal issues every day. Simply to rent a unit, a tenant must sign a lease, which is a legal document. If a tenant falls behind in rent or abandons the contents of a unit, the self-storage facility manager must act in accordance with state laws that set forth procedures to be followed, and timetables to be observed, before a lien sale can be held. State laws also dictate the procedures that self-storage facilities must follow with regard to storage of vehicles. Additionally, if a self-storage facility operator becomes concerned about the possibility of a unit being used for an unlawful purpose, the operator is placed in a delicate legal position, in which he or she must balance the tenant’s right to privacy against the possibility of a crime being committed. Facilities that offer climate-controlled units for wine storage must also follow state laws regarding storage of alcohol. There are also legal issues involved when loss of property occurs because of unexpected events or “acts of God,” such as earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, and the occasional accident in which a car runs off the road into a self-storage building.
“Legal Learning Live” will focus on the legal issues that most concern the self-storage industry: lien sales, protecting tenant privacy, vehicle storage, and abandonment of goods and documents.
Workshop participants will receive a workbook and copies of sample legal forms that relate to self-storage, including a checklist for lien-sales, a list of lien-sale rules, a release form for people who participate in a lien sale, a mutual settlement agreement, vehicle-storage clauses that can be added to a lease, and forms that can be used to collect information about vehicles in storage.
The 2010 Expo will also include legal information as part of its education package. Expo’s “Finance, Insurance and Legal Issues” seminar track will cover lien sales, tenant bankruptcy, corporate bankruptcy, and other legal issues relating to self-storage.