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Getting a storage unit is a necessity if your house is filled with stuff that you are not currently using. It is a great way to declutter and make more space in your home. However, getting an inventory storage unit can go awry in some occasions. For example, if you are unable to pay the rent, you will risk your belongings inside the unit until you pay the rent. There are many reasons why you may be unable to pay the rent, be it a difficult financial situation, or maybe you just forgot to do it. Whatever it is, it can lead to you losing your storage unit. In this article, we will go through all the steps storage facilities go through when you do not pay rent for your storage unit. So, how can you lose a storage unit? Ready, set, go!

Lose a storage unit? How can that happen?

The most common reason is when you are unable to pay for it. It can also happen if you improperly store hazardous materials. Hazardous materials are usually the culprits of some minor explosions or contaminations in storage facilities that can lead to damage to units or contamination and infestation of bugs across the whole facility. But these rarely happen, and you will most likely not lose your belongings due to policies but rather due to damage from the explosion or contamination. This is why we will focus only on losing your long term storage unit through being unable to pay rent. So, let’s get to it.

do not lose your storage unit
You do not want to lose your storage unit

Going into default

You have probably never heard of the phrase “going into default”. Well, you probably should have, because that will be the state of your storage unit if you fail to pay the rent. It is basically a time period when you stop paying rent up to the point when you lose your storage unit. The maximum amount of days differs from facility to facility, but the usual time period is 30 days. However, if you have read the contract carefully before loading your storage unit, you probably know about this. So, another thing to put on your “must-do” list. Always read the contract before signing anything! In addition, during this period the storage facility owners will probably put a new lock on your storage unit. It is highly recommended to respect this new lock and not to try and sneak into the unit. Your child’s favorite toy can wait until you can pay the rent you owe. So it is better not to risk it all by trying to break into the storage. The facility owners are probably going to leave a note on the door saying that you should not try to enter. It can just get you into legal trouble which will just be the icing on a cake of disaster.

The storage facility will try to contact you

They will not only try, but they will try very hard. It is not in their interest to lose a customer. You must be aware that the storage facility has much more interest in keeping you as their customer and tending you and the storage facility itself than holding an auction for your unit. There are many lien laws that they must follow in order to have a successful auction. These laws differ from state to state and they are very strict. So if a storage facility breaks even a small article of the law, they will most likely face legal charges. So, they will try to avoid having to auction your unit for as long as possible.

contract
Read the contract before signing

They are also aware that your storage unit means a lot to you and that you will try to pay back the rent you owe. They will definitely profit more from keeping you as their customer than selling the unit to the highest bidder. So, if you are not renting short term storage, they will try to contact you any way possible. They will probably start by sending you letters and email. If that fails they will call you by phone. However, the aforementioned lien laws forbid the storage facility to contact you in any way except by mail. But, they will probably call you even if they are forbidden by law because they want to see if you can pay off the rent. They will also try to delay this by increasing the time of the default. This will probably be stated in the contract.

Negotiating with the facility

If you still cannot pay the rent you owe to the facility and your default is coming to an end, you should try to negotiate with them. They must be aware that you probably would have paid for the unit if you could so make sure to explain the reason to them. They need to know that you are a human being and as such capable of having problems. These problems may delay the rent and they can try to help you in any way possible. If you talk to them on a good day, you might set up a payment plan of some sorts. Something like paying a part of the rent now, and paying the rest later. However, they may ask you to move all of your belongings out of the storage unit. So make sure that you have kept your storage unit clean. This may persuade them that you are worthy of negotiation.

You do not want your storage unit to be auctioned

The worst thing that can happen to you is that you lose your storage unit and it ends up on one of those History channel storage auction shows. All of your belongings may even be sold for a low price such as 20$ if there is only one bidder. This is another reason why storage facilities try to avoid auctioning your unit. So, with all that said, good luck with keeping your storage unit!

About Author

John G.
John has been with Divine Moving and Storage in New York for nearly two decades. Starting as a young helper and climbing up the ranks to be a staple in our organization. John has the knowledge and experience to assist our clients with any move or storage related needs. You can reach John or any of our associates in NYC at 212-244-4011

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