Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Self-Service Storage Facilities Law

Self-Service Storage Facilities Law

Self-service storage facility means any real property designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage space to occupants who are to have access to such facility for the purpose of storing and removing personal property. A self-service storage facility is not a public warehouse. States may regulate such facilities, such as prohibiting an occupant from using a self-service storage facility for residential purposes. State laws may apply which determine who bears the risk of loss when stored property is damaged or destroyed and procedures for placing a lien on stored property and public sales of stored property when the occupant is in default of payment. If an owner issues any warehouse receipt, bill of lading or other document of title for the personal property stored, the owner and the occupant may be subject to the provisions of Article 7 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

“Default” defined

As used in this chapter, “default” means the failure of a renter to perform, in a timely fashion, any duty imposed by section 10 of this chapter or by a rental agreement.

“Emergency” defined

As used in this chapter, “emergency” means any sudden, unexpected occurrence or circumstance at or near a self-service storage facility that requires immediate action to avoid injury to persons or property at or near the self-service storage facility.

“Last known address” defined

As used in this chapter, “last known address” means the address provided to the owner by the renter:
• for the purposes of the latest rental agreement; or
• a written notice of a change of address after the latest rental agreement.

“Rented space” defined

Rented space means the individual storage space at a self-service storage facility that is rented to a renter under a rental agreement.

“Renter” defined

As used in this chapter, “renter” means:
• a person who is entitled to the use of a rented space in a self-service storage facility under a rental agreement; or
• the sublease, successor, or assignee of a person described in subdivision (1).
“Owner” defined
Owner” means: the owner, operator, lessor, or sublessor of a self-service storage facility
• the agent of a person described in subdivision (1);
• any person authorized by a person described in subdivision

Personal property defined

Personal property means movable property not affixed to land. The term includes goods, wares, merchandise, and household items.

“Self-service storage facility” defined

Self-service storage facility means any real property designed and used for the renting of space under a rental agreement that provides a renter access to rented space for the storage and retrieval of personal property.

Entry Of Owner Into Rented Space

A renter, upon a reasonable request from the owner, shall allow the owner to enter a rented space for the purpose of:
• inspection;
• repair;
• alteration;
• improvement; or
• providing other services that are necessary or were agreed to by the renter.

If an emergency occurs, an owner may enter a rented space for any purpose set forth in this section without notice to or consent from the renter.

Lien of owner of facility upon personal property; priority; attachment; statement

• The owner of a self-service storage facility has a lien upon all personal property present in the self-service storage facility for:
• rent, labor, or other charges that accrue in connection with the personal property under the rental agreement;
• expenses necessary for the preservation of the personal property; and
• expenses reasonably incurred in the sale or other disposition of the personal property under this chapter.
• The lien described in subsection (a) is superior to any other lien or security interest, except for:
• a lien or security interest perfected before any sale or other disposition of the personal property; and
• any tax lien, as provided by law.
• The lien described in subsection (a) attaches on the date on which personal property is placed in a rented space. Every rental agreement must contain a statement in bold type notifying the renter of the existence of the lien and of the method by which the owner may enforce the lien under this chapter.

Enforcement Of Owner’s Lien; Notice

• After a renter has been in default continuously for thirty (30) days, an owner may begin enforcement of the owner’s lien under this chapter.
• An owner enforcing the owner’s lien under this chapter may:
• deny the renter access to the rented space; and
• move the renter’s personal property from the rented space to another storage space pending its redemption, sale, or other disposition under this chapter.
• An owner enforcing the owner’s lien shall send the renter, by registered or certified mail (return receipt requested) addressed to the last known address of the renter, a written notice that includes:
• an itemized statement of the owner’s claim showing the amount due at the time of the notice and the date when the amount became due;
• a demand for payment of the amount due before a specified time at least thirty (30) days after the date of the mailing of the notice;
• a statement that the contents of the renter’s rented space are subject to the owner’s lien;
• a statement advising the renter that the owner has denied the renter access to the rented space, if the owner has done this under subsection (b);
• a statement advising the renter that the owner has removed the renter’s personal property from the rented space to another suitable storage space, if the owner has done this under subsection (b);
• the name, street address, and telephone number of the owner or of any other person the renter may contact to respond to the notice; and
• a conspicuous statement that unless the owner’s claim is paid within the time stated under subdivision (2), the personal property will be advertised for sale, or will be otherwise disposed of, at a specified place and time, which must be at least ninety (90) days after the renter’s default.
• Any sale or other disposition of the personal property to enforce the owner’s lien must conform to the notice given under subsection (c)(7).

Redemption Of Personal Property

Before any sale or other disposition of the personal property under this chapter, the renter may redeem the personal property by paying the owner an amount sufficient to satisfy the owner’s lien. Upon the payment of this amount, the owner shall immediately return the personal property to the renter. After returning the personal property under this section, the owner has no liability to any person with respect to the personal property.

Place of sale; owner as buyer; proceeds of sale

• Any sale of the personal property under this chapter shall be held at the self-service storage facility or, if that facility is not a suitable place for a sale, at the suitable place nearest to where the property is held or stored.
• The owner may buy the personal property at any sale under this chapter.
• An owner may satisfy the owner’s lien from the proceeds of a sale under this chapter. If the proceeds of a sale under this chapter exceed the amount of the owner’s lien, the owner shall hold the balance for delivery, upon demand, to the renter. If the renter does not claim the balance of the proceeds within one (1) year after the sale, the balance shall be treated as unclaimed property.

Rental Agreements; Rights Of Owner Additional To Creditor’s Rights

This chapter does not impair the power of the parties to a rental agreement to create rights, duties, or obligations that do not arise from this chapter. The rights provided to an owner by this chapter are in addition to all other rights provided by law to a creditor against a debtor.

Things to Know When a Tenant Defaults Under a Lease

Tenant problems and defaults are inevitable challenges for successful commercial and industrial landlords and property managers. A bad tenant situation can be a potentially expensive problem and the ultimate outcome eviction is a potential minefield for the unwary landlord. Knowing what to do and what not to do is essential to effective and profitable property management.

1. Make Sure That The Tenant Is In Default.
It seems self-evident, but it is essential to make sure that a tenant is in default before taking further steps. Many leases contain conditions precedent to default like notice requirements. If a lease requires written notice of the tenant’s failure to pay in a certain format (like certified mail) that provides a period of time in which the tenant can cure this breach of the lease, then a landlord must follow those steps before taking further action. There may be non-monetary breaches that require some notice but that allow a landlord to evict a tenant. Under any circumstance, it is important to review the lease and to understand what the lease requires of the tenant and the landlord before taking further, more aggressive action. A landlord who does not follow the terms of the landlord’s own lease is setting him or herself up for a potentially expensive and embarrassing counterclaim.

2. Undertake Self-Help Only If It Is Clear That Acting Unilaterally Is Appropriate.
Assuming that a tenant is in default, the landlord may be tempted to take action to evict the tenant without resorting to process of law. Some jurisdictions permit self-help in this context and, if it works, it works. However, it is a good idea to check with an attorney before employing self-help because many jurisdictions frown upon a landlord taking matters into his/her own hands. Absent a court order authorizing eviction of a tenant, a landlord may be liable for trespass as well as liability under the parties’ lease if the landlord takes steps to evict a tenant ― even if the tenant is in default under the lease and would otherwise be subject to eviction.

3. “Abandoned” Personal Property Carries Its Own Risk.
Even when it appears that a tenant has “abandoned” real estate, it is important for a landlord to take careful steps to recapture rental property. Many tenants may leave behind valuable personal property that belongs to either the tenant or to a third party. For example, restaurant tenants often have thousands of dollars of personal property in the form of expensive appliances and equipment that the tenant owns or leases. Landlords that take possession or dispose of this kind of property may become liable to the tenant or the third party if the landlord was not authorized to seize or to dispose of the property. The unwary landlord can be found liable for conversion or breach of the parties’ lease or be liable to the claim of a third party if the landlord simply seizes and disposes of property that the landlord in a technical sense does not own or have a right to possess. If a landlord decides to sell a tenant’s property without authorization to mitigate the landlord’s losses for unpaid rent, a bad situation can be made worse. A prudent landlord may need to obtain direction from a court for example, by obtaining an order of attachment before disposing of personal property that appears abandoned on the landlord’s property. At the very least, it makes sense to get a tenant’s explicit authorization to dispose of property if it appears that the property is of some value and the landlord wants to proceed without court authorization. If proceeding in formal in-court eviction proceedings, it is a good idea to have the court make an explicit determination that property remaining on-site after a specific date will be deemed abandoned.

4. Understand The Applicable Laws Governing Formal, Court-Administered Eviction.
Many states and some municipalities have laws that explicitly govern how landlords may evict a tenant in court. Some may even have a court or courts that are specifically set up to handle these kinds of cases. Many jurisdictions distinguish between types of tenants residential tenants, for example, may have explicit statutory protections governing their property in jurisdictions that have passed “anti-slum lord” statutes. These protections may or may not apply to commercial or industrial tenants. Knowing whether an evicting landlord has the obligation to store a tenant’s property for some period of time after eviction is an essential, potentially expensive question to be answered before a landlord decides to evict the tenant. Some states also provide for a statutory period of cure or redemption during which a tenant can cure a default and before which eviction can occur. The key understands what the applicable jurisdiction permits and requires of an evicting party.

5. Consider Prejudgment Possession Of Premises In Eviction Proceedings.
Where there is no meaningful question about the tenant’s default, many jurisdictions permit a landlord to reclaim possession of property in eviction proceedings prior to entry of a final judgment so the landlord can relent premises. This option carries its own set of logistical issues and concerns notice, a separate hearing in court and the posting of a bond are all often required where this prejudgment relief is permitted. Nevertheless, reclaiming and reletting rental property as soon as possible is often the best way to limit a landlord’s losses particularly if the evicted tenant is effectively insolvent and judgment proof. The risk of imminent prejudgment possession can also often be the event that triggers a meaningful landlord/tenant negotiation to resolve the parties’ dispute. So, prejudgment possession is a valuable tool for landlords to know and understand.

6. Be Open To Informal Resolution At Every Stage In The Landlord-Tenant Dispute.
As discussed above, unilateral or formal judicial enforcement of a landlord’s rights can be difficult, expensive and risky. Landlords and property owners should be open to informal resolution whenever it is a viable option. Even after formal eviction proceedings have begun, landlords should be open to discussions with tenants concerning whether the rental situation can be resuscitated and, if not, how to move the old tenant out so that a new tenant can move in.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

Recent Posts

How To File Bankruptcy In Utah

How To File Bankruptcy In Utah/a>

Salt Lake City Bankruptcy Attorneys

Business Lawyers

Estate Planning Lawyer

Divorce Lawyer and Family Law Attorneys

Ascent Law St. George Utah Office

Ascent Law Ogden Utah Office