One of the great things about this country (depending on who you are asking probably) is that it is not necessary to have a majority of the people behind you in order to have your voice heard. With the right organization, a well-thought out message, and a good lobbyist even the smallest of groups can affect change in their own backyard.
Over the last year the various state-level Self Storage Associations along with the national association have been working hard to get the lien laws updated in their respective states. In some states it is still a work-in-progress. Some have been successful and have already seen the changes enacted. Some, like Texas, will see the changes go into practice come January 1, 2012.
With changes to laws comes the need for education. The people can’t benefit from the changes if they are not aware that they happened or if they don’t understand them. The Texas Self Storage Association (TSSA) recently held a special seminar during their annual conference to educate members on them.
It is important note with the changes in Texas is that self storage facilities will need to use the new TSSA leases rather than the old ones. The old ones can be used come January 1, but then there will be many of the new benefits courtesy of the altered laws that they can’t enjoy.
“I believe most self-storage owners would be best served by updating to the new lease,” said TSSA Marketing and Membership Director Silvia Pendleton.
Beyond understanding the new changes themselves, Texas self storage facility managers and owners are responsible for making sure that their tenants are aware of the changes as well. The TSSA recommends that managers and owners send a letter along with a copy of the new lease to their existing tenants.
One of the key changes sought and achieved was notification of claims and Intent to sell. They can now be sent by anyway in which the mailing of them can be confirmed. Email is acceptable as well, but only if the lease states that it is. Military customers get a special, revised notice of claim.
Laws regarding vehicle, boat, and trailer claims were all consolidated into one (Chapter 59) making them easier to understand. It is no longer necessary to make a claim within five days of a vehicle seizure. Notifying lienholders in such cases is no longer necessary either.
“Get Ready to Start Using the New TSSA Lease.” Texas Self Storage Association; November 2011.
“Texas Self Storage Association Prepares to Celebrate a Quarter Century in Business.” Self Storage Industry News; 21 June 2011.