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All You Need to Know About Self Storage Units

Nov 14, 2007
With more people today choosing apartments or smaller homes, the need for a place to store extra belongings that are only needed occasionally is on the rise. People used to store seasonal ornaments and clothing in the attic. With many homes today having nothing more than a crawl space for the attic, people have to find other places to store those items they only use occasionally. This trend of smaller homes--or at least less storage space--has created a boom in the self-storage industry.

For those who are not familiar with self-storage, these are units that you rent on a monthly basis and to which you have access to enter and leave at will within certain specified hours. The gates are often password or keycard activated in such a way that, if you fail to make your monthly payments, you are unable to even enter the gates to your unit. They come in several different sizes with larger units often having entry from both sides to allow easier access to the other end of the storage unit.

Self-storage units are convenient for storing those extras that you do not use frequently, but lack storage space when not in use. This includes such items as Christmas trees and ornaments, seasonal equipment and clothing, and even furniture you are not currently using. As long as you pay your storage fee each month, you are the only one with access to the unit. However, payment default allows management the authority to cut off your lock and replace it with another one. After thirty days, most self-storage facilities will place the contents of your unit up for auction.

With a self-storage unit, you can also purchase insurance through the facility that will cover your belongings each month. Of course, if you have homeowners' insurance, you may not need this additional protection. Check your policy to see how far your insurance covers your belongings and whether it covers things stored in locations other than your home. If it does, there is no need for you to purchase additional insurance.

One problem that you are up against with a self-storage facility is that there is no actual contract, and as such, they can raise the rent on your unit any time they so choose. This doesn't mean they WILL do it, but there is nothing legally you can do to stop them. You rent the units on a monthly basis, so therefore, the facility is free to raise the rent on you with little more than thirty days' notice. For those who live in apartments, there is probably no other alternative, but for homeowners who simply lack space in their homes, it is likely to be more economical to purchase a storage building for their back yard.

Self-storage units are certainly an alternative to getting rid of a great deal of stuff you seldom use, but they are certainly not a sound economic move if other possibilities exist. They are, however, a growing market, and one that is being utilized by people and businesses alike.
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