The governors of Kansas and Rhode Island recently signed revised self-storage lien statutes into law, providing self-storage operators in those states with expanded procedures for communicating with tenants who are in default.
In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback approved an update to the Self-Service Storage Act on June 1. Under the revised statute, prior to any sale of tenant property, self-storage operators are required to notify tenants of their default by e-mail (if an address is provided) in addition to sending notification by First-Class Mail. Second notices also are now required to be sent by both e-mail and First-Class Mail when an e-mail address is available.
The revised statute also removed the requirement that Kansas operators list the items for sale when advertising the lien sale.
In Rhode Island, Gov. Lincoln Chafee last month approved Senate Bill 2255, which updates the state’s Self-Service Storage Facility Act. The revised statute enables self-storage operators to notify tenants in default either in person, by regular mail or by verified e-mail. The law also allows operators to begin to take action against defaulted accounts after five days instead of 30. Second notifications can be sent as soon as 14 days after default.
The revised statute also includes a clause requiring rental agreements to include statements that stored property is not insured by the facility owner against loss, theft or damage; the existence of lien under the state statute; and the possible sale of property to satisfy a lien.
The national Self-Storage Association (SSA) credited the respective state self-storage associations for their work in getting the state statutes revised. The SSA provided consultation and financial support in the lobbying efforts.
The updates to lien laws in Kansas and Rhode Island follow a trend among state legislature activity. Florida revised its state statute in April, and the SSA said 16 states have passed association-sponsored lien updates since 2008. Lien statute revisions are currently under consideration in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio, the SSA reported.