Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed an amended self-storage lien-law bill May 2 that updates the state’s lien-auction procedures. The legislation (Senate Bill 634) includes the allowance of default notifications sent by e-mail, the enabling of operators to have stored vehicles towed after default exceeds 60 days, and the lawful implementation of monthly late fees at $20 per month or 20 percent of the monthly rent, whichever is greater.
The new law also reduces the number of required default-tenant notifications from two to one. Currently, self-storage operators must issue two separate notices, with the final notice sent by Certified Mail. The new language stipulates that operators can send a default notification by e-mail as long as it is written into the tenant’s rental agreement. Operators will be required to send a follow-up notification via verified mail if they do not receive a response to an e-mail or confirmation of e-mail delivery.
All new updates to the law will go into effect on Oct. 1.
The Maryland Self Storage Association (MDSSA), an affiliate of the national Self Storage Association (SSA), pushed to update the lien law. Todd Manganaro, president of MDSSA, and Tim Dietz, senior vice president of government relations for the SSA, attended the governor’s signing.
The bill was one of 266 bills signed by O’Malley. It was included among measures to repeal the death penalty, prevent cyberbullying and improve access to voting.