A lot of people worry about the consequences of not paying for self storage. Here we alleviate those fears by looking at what happens, so self storage customers can be aware.

One of the reasons people avoid investing in a self storage unit is through fear of what happens when you don’t pay. The glorified programmes showing the auctioning off of units makes many worry that is what will happen to their belongings. This is a warranted fear when you don’t understand the way self storage works when you are unable to pay, however, once you recognise that there is a clear system which doesn’t automatically result in your unit being taken from you, it is reassuring and self storage becomes a much more desirable option.

business archives in storage

So How Does It Work?

When you sign a contract to pay for a unit for a set amount of time you have a legally binding obligation to pay your fees. If you fail to do this the facility you have the contract with does have a right over the contents of your unit, called a ‘Right Of Lien’. So they can hold on to your unit’s contents until you have paid your debts to them. When you don’t settle the debts the contents are able to eventually, at the end of a long process, able to be sold to make up some of the debt. To be clear – getting to this point is a very long process, you don’t just miss a payment and your goods are up for auction.

First and foremost you will be notified you are late with your payments. This might be a formal reminder, or it might be a warning explaining what will happen if you do not pay the amount by a set time. Most centres will send out several of these notices clearly explaining the situation, until they take action. Obviously the longer you don’t pay, the longer they are losing out on money.

Speak To The Unit As Soon As Possible

If you are having money troubles it does pay to speak to the facility as soon as you possibly can. Remember the facility doesn’t want to get into a dispute with you, it doesn’t do them any favours either. There may be things that can be done to help your situation, and at the very least explaining your situation will make the facility feel like you’re not being underhand in any way.

Avoiding The Situation Altogether

It is important to avoid the situation altogether where possible. Removing all your belongings from the storage unit and ending your contract as soon as you can is a good idea – ideally before you run into trouble paying fees. You could also possibly move to a smaller unit which costs less, getting rid of some of the items you already store.

So, although the facility does have the right to hold onto your items if you don’t meet payments, they are also legally obliged to give you plenty of warning and notice to pay your debt before this happens. A good facility will be clear about the process and do everything they can to help you avoid the situation in the first place.