Colorado Self-Storage Operators Have New Lien Law

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Last Wednesday Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law Senate Bill 11-039, which includes improvements to the state’s lien law for self-storage operators. Introduced to the Colorado legislature in January, the bill was championed by the national Self Storage Association, the Colorado Self Storage Association, and lobbyist firm Colorado Communiqué Inc., which was hired by the CoSSA.

SB 11-039, “A Bill for an Act Concerning the Consequences of Default in Payments Due for Storage of Personal Property in a Self-Storage Facility,” includes several modernizations:

  • It eliminates the Certified Mail requirement for lien-sale notifications, allowing such notices to be sent via e-mail or, in the absence of an e-mail address or response, any form of verified First Class mail.
  • It eliminates the newspaper-publishing requirement for lien sales, instead allowing any “commercially reasonable” form of advertising. (Three or more independent bidders must be present at the auction for it to be deemed commercially reasonable.)
  • It provides a simpler lien process for self-storage spaces containing vehicles, allowing the facility operator to tow the vehicle if rent goes unpaid for 60 days or more.

According to the SSA, the savings to Colorado self-storage operators as a result of the new law will be between $1.3 and $2 million.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Lois Tochtrop and House Representative Tom Massey. The first Senate hearing for the bill took place at the end of January. Mike Humphrey and Hank Saipe of the CoSSA testified in favor of the measure as well as Tim Dietz, senior vice president of the SSA.

The complete text of the bill can be viewed at http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2011a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/DFF83AAA14048A698725780100602BD5?open&file=039_enr.pdf.

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