By Amy Campbell
With 2012 coming to a close in just a little over a week, many self-storage operators are looking ahead and making plans for the coming year. This may include adding another building, updating a facilitys curb appeal, trying a new marketing strategy or even something as simple as joining the local chamber of commerce. But theres another important area operators should keep an eye in the coming monthslegislation affecting the self-storage industry.
Over the past year or so, weve seen a number of legislative measures make the rounds in a number of states. Earlier this year, new self-storage legislation was passed in Florida, Kansas and Rhode Island, while bills died in other states, including Connecticut, Georgia and South Carolina. Its almost a sure bet legislation in these states will be introduced again in the coming months.
In fact, at least seven states are considering significant changes to their self-storage statutes, which could result in changes in lien sales, alter tenant-notification processes or even add new revenue streams, such as tenant insurance.
The Ohio Senate, for example, passed an amended bill Dec. 13 that would enable self-storage operators to place public-notice announcements for lien sales in commercial outlets other than a local newspaper. If signed by the governor, self-storage businesses could potentially save money by publicizing auctions through less expensive channels. Other states are looking at similar legislation. Also this week, New Jersey legislatures are considering an improved lien-law bill that was first introduced last spring.
In addition, the California Self Storage Association has selected attorney Randy Pollack to act as a lobbyist with its state legislators. CSSA officials said key issues in 2013 include self-storage lien laws, taxes and public-notification requirements
So while considering next years budget, facility improvements and other critical operational components, keep an eye on your states legislative activities as well. Better yet, be a proactive operator and lend your support to legislation that will have a healthy and positive affect on your self-storage business.