New Bill Could Give Authorities Access to Self-Storage Tenant Information in MA

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A bill requiring self-storage operators in Massachusetts to keep an active registry of tenant information subject to inspection by police and other authorities has been introduced to the state legislature by Sen. James Timilty. Senate Bill 158 is opposed by the Massachusetts Self Storage Association (MASSA) and national Self Storage Association (SSA). Representatives from both organizations were expected to testify today during a hearing in Boston.

If passed as written, the bill would require Massachusetts self-storage operators to maintain a log of names and last-known addresses for every tenant in their facilities, along with their unit numbers and rental duration. The information would be open to inspection without the need for a search warrant, the SSA said in its weekly e-mail newsletter.

Violators of the requirement would be subject to fines up to $500 and 90 days in jail.

The introduction of the bill comes while the legislature is still reviewing Senate Bill 183, a measure that would update the state’s self-storage lien-law procedures to allow tenant e-mail notifications, using websites to attract auction bidders, liability limitations and other provisions. The bill was referred favorably last November by the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and is currently with the Committee on Senate Ethics and Rules.

The tenant registry bill is currently being reviewed by the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. A hearing was scheduled for today at 1 p.m. ET.

Formed in 1998, MASSA is a nonprofit organization of facility owners and operators designed to strengthen the self-storage industry in Massachusetts. It aims to promote professional standards and quality, and present a unified voice on issues affecting the industry in the commonwealth and its communities.

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