Self Storage Lien Laws Still a Work in Progress in Some States

Posted on Jul 15 2013 - 11:28pm by Winnie Hsiu

It is not easy to get a law repealed or altered in the United States. In fact, it could be called an absolute pain in the behind trying to get a law updated. In a way that is good. If it was too easy to change laws we would likely be doing it all the time making it impossible to know what is up and what is down. However, at the same time it can take what seems like forever to get something that is outdated up to speed.

Just ask anyone that has lobbied for changes to state legislation in regards to the self storage industry the last few years. They would be glad to tell you!

For example, take the great state of North Carolina. At the beginning of the month North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law a pair of bills, House Bill 243 and Senate Bill 263. Between the two the state’s self storage lien laws were altered to allow for email notification between the facility and tenants in default of impending lien procedures, the use of media for auction advertisements over the newspaper, additional late fees, and for the use of online auction sites.

Not all states have been as lucky getting their existing laws altered. The state of California recently shot down an update to its self storage lien laws when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted down Assembly Bill 983.

What the bill was trying to do was get rid of a tenant’s ability to invoke a declaration in order to put a halt to a lien auction. What self storage facilities must do in order to move forward when that happens is get a court order allowing them to move forward with the auction.

However, what ends up happening more often than not is the tenant does not show up to court.

At one time it appeared as if the proposed law had the support it needed to pass, but some of its supporters had a change of heart.

“The judiciary committee action was a very disappointing outcome,” said Erin King, CSSA executive director. “We thought the bill was well on its way to passing, and to have it turned down in such a manner really had us scratching our heads. However, we’ll keep trying to find ways to work with our legislators to bring about positive changes for our industry.”

The good thing is that just because the government says no once it doesn’t mean it will the next time. Sometimes you just have to try and try again.

Sources Used:

“California Self-Storage Lien-Law Update Blocked by Senate Judiciary Committee.” Inside Self Storage; 15 July 2013.

“North Carolina Governor Signs Amended Self-Storage Lien Law Enabling E-Mail Notifications.” Inside Self Storage; 09 July 2013.