You have probably seen storage units dramatically auctioned away on Storage Wars on TV. Real life isn’t so dramatic, but it is true that most self storage facilities have online or in person local storage auctions throughout the year. It is part of the business. Also, part of the business is an auction getting canceled. New buyers of abandoned storage units are often confused about why so many storage auctions get canceled.
To understand why local storage auctions get canceled, you should first know that the majority of auctions on StorageTreasures are lien units or abandoned units for sale. A storage unit lien auction occurs when a tenant doesn’t pay the monthly rent. Self storage companies sell the contents of customers’ spaces to recoup losses after the customer has failed to pay rent for a period of time set by law. A storage auction is the ultimate result of a lien. A lien is a right to hold property belonging to another person until the debt owed by that person is paid. If the debt is not paid, the lien right permits an operator to sell the customer’s goods to pay the debt.
- Tenants Paying Their Past-Due Balance
- Error in the Lien Process
- Mistake in Auction Listing or Pictures
- Unauthorized Items
Most often, cancelations are due to tenants paying their past due balance. The tenants of the defaulted units have a legal right to pay the amounts owed up until the payment is received from the winning bidder unless otherwise stated in the state’s lien laws or by the storage facility (this information is posted on every auction page under “Auction Buyer Rules”). Legally, the property still belongs to the tenant until the winning bidder pays for and places a lock on the unit. The winning bidder should always call the facility before picking up the unit for this reason. Last minute payments happen and its often happens fast. If you were a tenant with a temporary hardship, wouldn’t you want all the time possible to settle your account and claim your items?
Sometimes the facility will realize a step in the lien process was not done, or there is some other legal complication. The steps a storage facility operator must go through to conduct local storage auctions are lengthy and complicated. The laws are vague and must be followed precisely. There are many places for an error to be made. Operators do not want to have canceled storage auctions it costs them money and man-hours but if they make a mistake in the lien paperwork or process, they must cancel the online storage auction.
In addition to following the lien process strictly, the storage operator must present correct information on their local storage auctions listings. If they find a mistake or uploaded the wrong pictures, they can only edit the listing up until a bid is made. If they find a mistake after that, they will have to cancel the listing and post a new one.
Sometimes an unauthorized item is found in a storage unit after the unit was already listed for auction. For example, if a motor vehicle is found they will cancel the auction and need to perform a VIN search with the department of motor vehicles before re-listing it. Other examples of items that cannot be sold are modified shotguns or assault rifles. If these items are found in the unit after it has been listed the facility owner is required to cancel the auction. We know that a substantial number of auctions are canceled but last year there were over 290,000+ local storage auctions successfully sold on StorageTreasures.com The truth is facility operators do not want to cancel storage auctions. Processing an auction is complex and expensive and the bottom line is the owner is still not getting rent on the abandoned unit until the contents are sold.
Bid on Local Storage Auctions with Confidence
Now that we have expanded on why storage auctions get canceled, you can bid on local storage auctions with confidence. StorageTreasures allows the storage industry not only to comply with but also to exceed the intent of state laws governing the self-storage industry protecting tenants and bidders alike. It is free to create an account and find local storage auctions in your area on StorageTreasures. Go to the registration page on StorageTreasures.com. Select ‘Sign Up as a Buyer’, then fill out the form with your contact information and create a password. Once you have completed the sign-up process just add your credit card information to start bidding on local storage units.
For more information, please visit our Help Center to learn everything you need to know to hunt, bid, win, and profit from local storage auctions.