Legal Issues – Q&A

Q: Can storage facility staff go through the boxes to take inventory?

A: Yes. Certainly, they can. But the law does not REQUIRE that they go through boxes. Operators are only required to provide a “general description” of the goods stored.

Q: I bid on a non-lien managers special. I feel the manager knowingly put a non-working washing machine in the unit in order to get rid of it. Do I have any recourse?

A: Likely not… the rules likely provide that everything you buy is AS IS with no warranty. You would only be able to recover if you could prove fraud, which is hard to prove.

Q: What should the buyer do if the operator has gone through the items in the space? Is this a Police matter?

A: It would NOT be a criminal matter, but certainly a civil one. If the Operator posts pictures of items in a space, but then, after purchase, those items are not in there, there could be claims against the operator for breach of contract in the sale, but possibly also claims of deceptive trade practices, which carry heavy civil penalties under state law.

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Carlos Kaslow
Carlos Kaslow serves as the General Counsel to the Self Storage Association. He is the editor of the Self Storage Legal Review, the SSA’s legal periodical. He is a founding partner of the Self Storage Legal Network; the industry’s only telephone and e-mail legal information service. Carlos has provided legal consulting services to the nation’s largest self-storage and mobile storage operators. Carlos has also worked with the SSA on its self-storage state legislative project by drafting legislation, working with lobbyists and providing testimony before state legislatures. He is the co-author of the SSA’s state Self Storage Lien Law Annotated series, that now covers over 25 states. In addition he has also written The Self Storage Legal Network’s Guide to Drafting Your Rental Agreement, Everyday Business Forms for Self-Storage Operators and The Self Storage Collections & Lien Sale Handbook.

5 thoughts on “Legal Issues – Q&A

  1. I have bought a storage unit that had been gone thru. When they broke the lock, the unit was not as pictured but was array. I should have reported it.

  2. when I see on the pictures that all the boxes have been opened and the unit looks like have been moved I don’t bid on it.

  3. I bought a unit that was not supposed to be auctioned off I sold one item the storage place called me about there mistake I paid $460 for unit I told them I had everything else and I would return for $1000 since it would take me all day to load and unload they paid me the $1000 then said I was banned from auction from now on they are public storage a nationwide company

    1. Hi Ken, are you interested or do you know anyone who buys stuff from storage. We have a storage in Davenport Iowa that we need to clean and close but don’t want to go through auction. We need someone to look at it and offer us a price. Please give me call 901-210-3509. Thanka!

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