Fresh off last year’s political victory in getting a new self-storage lien law passed, the Florida Self Storage Association (FSSA) has outlined its 2013 legislative agenda. The FSSA issued an e-mail this week stating it wants to pursue options for posting public notices, making vehicle lien-law improvements and changing lawful limitations on the value of stored property.
To help in its lobbying efforts, the association will continue to work with Jeanette Wilk Yaeger, lead lobbyist for One Eighty Consulting, and has secured sponsorship from state house representative Matt Caldwell and state senator Jeremy Ring.
Several state associations and the national Self Storage Association have been pushing for legal alternatives to placing lien-sale public notices in newspapers. Ohio, for example, passed legislation in January allowing operators to place public notices in other “reasonable” commercial outlets, including websites.
The FSSA estimates Florida self-storage facilities will spend between $2.5 million and $4 million this year pursuing lien auctions, with the bulk of the costs “tied up in the public-notice process.” The association will pursue a legislative change to enable operators to use a publically accessible website as an alternative to newspapers.
In seeking to improve vehicle lien-law procedures, the FSSA favors allowing an independent towing company to remove vehicles from a self-storage facility after a statutorily designated delinquent period. Once a vehicle is towed from a storage facility, the operator would not be liable for loss or damage to the vehicle. Similar legislation is currently enacted in Colorado, Maine, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee, FSSA officials said.
Although rental agreements used by Florida self-storage operators generally place a maximum value on the property that can be stored in a unit, usually between $5,000 and $10,000, the FSSA said it also wants to pursue value limitations in the law because “other states have experienced challenges in court,” despite having a signed tenant contract with a stated maximum value.
The FSSA is a nonprofit organization of businesspeople involved in the self-storage industry in Florida. Its members include facility owners, operators, vendors, developers, investors, property managers and suppliers.