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In some storage agreements, terms are spelled out in simple language, while others may confuse you. Before signing the dotted line, it is advisable to refresh the lease agreements. Some managers will sit with you to make sure you understand everything about your inventory storage. However, ultimately, you must understand all the documents you sign. Here is a guide to what you need to know about a storage rental agreement before you sign it.

What you should know about a storage rental agreement

Storage contracts provide important parameters and agreement details to which all parties can refer in order to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.  Such a document contains contact information, terms, purpose, and payment information. When it comes to contract information, the storage rental agreement should state the short term storage address, telephone numbers, customer address, and unit number. You can also enter other phone numbers and email addresses if you want. There should also be the start and end date of the agreement. For example, you can agree to one year or a contract can be concluded monthly.

Marker and checklist
Storage rental agreement should list items stored in the unit, such as personal items, non-perishable property, among other things

Each individual rental agreement is different, but many of them cover these four areas.

1. Payments

  • How much you have to pay for the rent. The storage rental agreement will indicate the amount of your rent, due date and the amount of your security deposit.
  • What happens if you pay late or do not pay. The contract must state when the payment is considered late and what the late fee is. It is also important to understand what will happen if you stop paying rent. This should be clearly spelled out.
  • Other fees. Facilities must also indicate any other fees that they will or may charge you. For example, some contracts state that there is a blocking fee if the customer loses the key. Or if the manager must enter the unit to pick up the things of the tenant who stopped paying rent. The property may also charge for an auction when it sells tenant items in order to return the money due.

2. Using your unit

  • What you can store. Storage boxes are designed for storing ordinary household items such as furniture, books, and dishes. Therefore, storage rental agreement usually specifies items that you cannot store, such as garbage, toxic waste or flammable liquids. Storing anything that might explode or otherwise damage property is strictly prohibited. In addition, most contracts limit the cost of what you can keep in the unit.
  • Cleanliness. With most contracts, you must keep the long term storage clean and in good condition. If you store a car there, you may have to use a pallet to prevent oil and other liquids from falling onto the floor. And the contract usually states the condition in which you must leave the unit when you leave.
Clean storage
For example, some rental agreements require customers to leave a unit empty and sweep it with a broom

3. Providing notice

  • Change of address. Storage rental agreement may indicate that you need to notify the institution of the change of address or phone number.
  • When you leave. The contract must cover the process of departure, including the notice that you must give to the landlord.

4. What the landlord can do

  • Entrance to your unit. The contract must indicate the situation where the landlord may enter your unit, for example, for repair.
  • Blocking you. The contract must state under what circumstances the landlord can block you from your unit and how you can regain access.

Storage rental agreement and legalese

Here is some legal jargon that you may encounter in a storage rental agreement, and what these terms mean in simple language:

  • Pledge of personal property. Pledge means that if you do not pay your bill, the owner of the institution can keep your saved property and eventually sell it. Storage pledges are regulated by law in almost every state.
  • Exemption from liability. Most contracts require you to accept that the landlord is not responsible if your belongings are damaged or if you get injured at the facility. So make sure you choose the right storage unit. Exemption of liability does not apply to deliberate behavior, for example, if the head of the institution threw your stuff in the rain or hit you in the face.
  • Indemnification. This is one of the most misunderstood concepts in storage rental agreement. This means that if the tenant does something that results in a lawsuit against the object, the tenant or his insurance company will protect the object and pay for any decision on it.
  • Breach. It is a violation of any terms of the storage rental agreement. A typical violation is not paying the rent.
Full storage unit
Storage provider will not be responsible if anything breaks because you put too much stuff in the unit.

Exclusion of guarantees

In a general sense, this means that you need to look at your storage unit because what you see is what you get. By adding this clause, the owner of the object declares that there is no guarantee that the storage unit is suitable for any purpose that the client may decide to use. For example, if someone wants to save the remaining cookies, he should take a look at the unit, ask questions and decide if this is the right place for this use. If the unit will have a temperature of 80 degrees, this may not be the best place to store last year’s fine mints. Think about the purpose of your unit, don’t make some common storage mistakes.

When signing any legal paper, it is hard to understand it completely. And storage rental agreement is no different. But, if you study this guide thoroughly and as some questions, nobody will be able to trick you.

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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