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Association Report: From Court Action to Taxes to TV and More, the Canadian Self-Storage Industry Enters New Territory

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With an all-new, all-Canadian cast, the show has been generating activity and resulting in greater attention at Ontario self-storage auctions. Time will tell if the show can create a similar buzz to that of its U.S. counterpart.

Lien Sales: Best Practices = Best Defense

With the advent of "Storage Wars Canada," there’s no better time for the first release of the "CSSA Liens Sales and Best Practices Guide." Given that Canada operates without industry-specific lien laws, the CSSA has put together a best-practices guide and checklist. When integrated with the contract law in a facility’s lease and put into operational practice, it will be an operator's strongest ally in conducting fair and proper lien sales.

Once the guide is released, operators will be encouraged to have their own attorney review the practices and put them into alignment with their tenant contracts and facility practices. By assisting facilities with clear process and purpose, the CSSA believes the industry can have a fair but effective way to deal with tenants who default from the terms of their contracts. The first edition was presented at the CSSA Alberta Conference on Oct. 24  in Red Deer, Alberta.

Development Returns Slow and Steady

Self-storage construction and conversions are returning at a slow and steady pace since the heyday of pre-2008. Certainly, there’s been some success in new-facility lease-ups, but the industry focus and activity has been more concentrated on improving the performance of existing businesses.

Construction starts remain well off pre-recession levels. In fact, there are several facilities built in 2006 and later that are still struggling to stabilize. For this reason, financing is available but often remains focused on borrowers with good financials and strong self-storage experience.

In the end, 2013 has been very active with some of these new Canadian industry milestones. Still, there’s much to be done. The court battle looms, and the CSSA works hard to get important information out to the industry from coast to coast.

Robert Madsen is president of the U-Lock Mini Storage Group and a director of the Canadian Self Storage Association. Born into the industry, he has more than 25 years of professional self-storage experience. Madsen started in the business with plunger, broom and hammer in hand, progressing to manager and, ultimately, executive. He is also a moderator for the Self-Storage Talk online community, going by the username Madman. For more information, visit .

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