Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the revised self-storage lien statute into law Friday after three years of effort from the Florida Self Storage Association (FSSA) and the national Self Storage Association (SSA).
The measure, effective July 1, enables operators of Florida's more than 2,600 self-storage facilities to use cheaper and more effective delinquency-notification options, such as e-mail or First Class Mail with a Certificate of Mailing.
The new statute also contains the following provisions:
- Tenants can provide a change of address to the facility using First Class Mail or e-mail. Currently, a tenant must hand deliver his address-change notice or send it via Certified Mail.
- Self-storage rental contracts or applications ask whether a person is in the military. By knowing which tenants serve in the military, a facility operator can extend to them protections against lien-sale proceedings according to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
"It has been a long three years in passing the modernized lien statute but it has finally come to fruition," said Robert Bret, FSSA executive director. "Most importantly, it helps operators save money, specifically money that they had to spend without results." Bret specifically mentioned Mike Mele, president of the FSSA Board of Trustees, and Tim Dietz, senior vice president of governmental affairs for the SSA, as being particularly instrumental in leading the lobbying effort.
Florida is the third of the three largest states to improve its lien law in three years. Both the California and Texas lien laws were recently updated. Like the Florida law, the revised California law broadened the delinquency-notification process to include First Class Mail with a Certificate of Mailing, in addition to other changes. The Texas law made similar expansions, including the use of e-mail and verified-mail notifications, and a requirement to inquire about active-military status.
The history and progress of the bill (House Bill 715, Senate Bill 646) can be tracked at www.flsenate.gov.