What Happens When A Storage Facility Is Abandoned
Storage units are very practical when you need a place to temporarily keep your belongings. This is especially so when you want to relocate and don’t want the moving company to haul your items. However, if you don’t make regular payments, your unit could be declared abandoned and your belongings seized.
It is common after a relocation process, to forget about your storage unit. Let’s take a look at what happens when your storage unit becomes abandoned and what happens to your belongings.
How are storage units leased?
To rent a storage unit, you will be expected to pay a monthly rate just like you would on your apartment. If you don’t pay at the agreed time, there will be a short grace period before you are required to pay late fees.
After how long will the unit be considered abandoned?
Unlike your apartment where you will get an eviction notice, storage units are considered abandoned when you miss several consecutive payments. The number of payments varies from one provider to the other. Your rental contract must say how many payments must be missed before the unit is considered abandoned.
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When payments are not done, the manager of the storage facility will try to reach out but if the agreed period elapses with no action from you, they will declare the unit abandoned and confiscate the contents. This is necessary because you are not paying and somebody else could be looking for somewhere to store their household appliances as they plan their move to a new apartment.
What happens to the contents of abandoned storage units?
When the unit has been considered abandoned, the contents will be property of the storage facility. Yes, even if it contains your entire household appliances which are worth more than the rent, ownership will be automatically transferred to the storage facility. Usually, the facilities will conduct auctions to try and recover the rent arrears. Different states have different requirements before such an auction can be conducted.
They should place an advertisement in the papers announcing the date, time and location that the auction will take place. Some storage facilities choose to auction all the contents in the unit at once while others prefer to open the unit and auction one item at a time.
How is the auction conducted?
The auction is public, which means that anyone can attend and bid on the items. Even the owner of the items is allowed to bid. The unit will remain closed until the auction begins. If the auction doesn’t raise enough money to cover the unpaid rent, the renter could still receive a bill for the balance and if the renter still doesn’t pay, the bill could be sent to debt collectors.
Before renting a storage unit, be very sure that you can keep up with the payments. If you need it for a short time like when moving, stick to your timeline and remove the items as soon as the time expires.
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