Self-Storage Lien-Law Legislation Progress in Illinois

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Despite opposition from the Press Association, the self-storage lien-law legislation introduced to the Illinois 97th General Assembly in February has been favorably passed out of the Commerce Committee and now moves to the Senate floor.

Senate Bill 1394, which aims to amend the “Self-Storage Facility Act,” is being aided in its passage by the Illinois Self Storage Association (ISSA) and the national Self Storage Association.  It is sponsored by Senator Michael Jacobs.

If passed, SB1394 would affect changes that are favorable for the state’s self-storage operators. The bill at first proposed to eliminate the printing of lien-sale notifications in newspapers, an amendment that was opposed by the Press Association. The ISSA board of directors then changed the bill’s language to retain the newspaper publishing requirements but eliminate the need for a general description of the property contained in the defaulted self-storage unit, thereby reducing the newspaper column inches needed for each sale notice.

In addition, SB1394 includes improvements relating to unit value limitation and the removal of vehicles from units in default. It also allows operators to use First Class Mail instead of Certified Mail to post notices to tenants in default, and establishes a late fee of $20 or 20 percent, whichever is greater. The ISSA is also attempting to reduce the waiting period for the disbursement of excess funds from a self-storage auction, asking that they be delivered to the facility within 90 days rather than the current two years.

SB1394 will be amended in the Senate and, if passed, move on to the House of Representatives. The ISSA plans to keep its members posted regarding progress of the bill and will ask support in contacting senators and representatives when it is appropriate to do so.

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