Update 3/18/14 – South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley recently signed an amended version of the state’s self-storage lien law (House Bill 3563) that enables facility operators to send tenant-delinquency notifications by e-mail and First-Class Mail, while updating other aspects of the lien process. The South Carolina Self Storage Association and the national Self Storage Association have been working with lawmakers for two years to update the measure.
The bill passed unanimously through the state senate in February and by a 97-3 house vote on March 5. Haley signed the bill into law on March 13. Changes go into effect immediately.
Among other changes, the new law establishes tenant delinquency at seven days past the rental due date. Customers will be able “opt in” on their rental agreement to receive late notifications via e-mail, which would waive their right to receive notices by courier or Certified Mail.
3/6/14 – Legislation has passed through the South Carolina Senate that would change the administering of the lien-law process for self-storage operators. The measure would allow tenant-delinquency notifications to be sent by e-mail, while updating other aspects of the lien process. In addition, a separate bill was introduced in the senate last month that would enable operators to sell tenant insurance with a limited-lines license.
House Bill 3563, concurrent with Senate Bill 513, would establish tenant delinquency at seven days past the rental due date. Customers would be able “opt in” to receive late notifications via e-mail on their rental agreement, which would waive their right to receive notices by courier or Certified Mail.
Delinquency notifications would be issued beginning at 14 days past due, while operators would be lawfully allowed to auction the contents after 50 days of continuous delinquency. The bill also stipulates that a partial payment received prior to the lien sale would not stop or delay the auction unless the storage owner agrees to such action in writing.
Supported by the South Carolina Self Storage Association and the national Self Storage Association, the bill would also enable operators to dispose of property after 60 days if they determine the sale value of the delinquent tenant’s belongings is less than $300. Under this action, the customer’s debt would be absolved, and the storage owner would not incur liability on the property.
The measure also addresses motor vehicles, including boats, and would enable operators to have vehicles towed after delinquency exceeds 60 days.
The tenant-insurance legislation, Senate Bill 1065, would enable operators to apply for a limited license granting them permission to sell insurance covering casualty loss of property and liability for personal injuries. Applications would cost $40 and need to be renewed biennially with the state’s department of insurance.
The bill would also allow self-storage employees acting as agents of insurers to receive commissions, incentives or bonuses as compensation, but such payments could not be made based on the completion of a sale of insurance coverage.
Both measures would go into effect immediately after being signed by the governor.