Sad but true: There is a large percentage of the population looking for shortcuts in life. They look for loopholes in just about everything, taking advantage where they can. And self-storage can be a target for these types. How many headlines have you seen where some poor manager stumbles across something that should never be found in a self-storage unit?
A Self-Storage Talk member recently shared a tale of woe. JRMcCoy writes, “I am about to have to cut a check for $4,000 to have hundreds of old tires removed from my largest conventional unit. A shady looking character from about two counties away (with no good story as to why he was renting in my county) rented a unit, and then under cover of night loaded us up with used tires ... top to bottom, front to back.”
While McCoy did the right thing, obtaining the tenant’s driver’s license info and reporting him to the state authorities, the facility is, so far, stuck with a hefty bill.
To minimize the chance of someone using your facility as a dumping ground, you first need a solid rental agreement. In addition, always get a copy of the tenant’s driver’s license, and you may want to consider obtaining credit or debit card info. Here’s an excellent article by industry legal expert Jeffrey Greenberger about why you should obtain credit or debit card information.
Lastly, use your judgment. If something doesn’t feel right, ask for more information, another form of identification, two phone numbers, etc. Yes, the customer may turn around and walk out the door. But saying no to someone looking to saddle you with something undesirable will actually save you money in the long run.
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