Never before has the self-storage rental agreement been more important. TV reality shows are depicting self-storage operators as a greedy, uncaring group of people who sell tenants belongings at random. And with more people looking to make a fast buck, the rental agreement is the best way for operators to protect themselves and their businesses.
More than just a piece of paper with a few signatures, the rental agreement is a binding contract that can be used in court to either demolish a storage operator or save him. If your facilitys rental agreement was cobbled together by pulling info from here or there or, worse, if you have a lackadaisical attitude about things like signatures or forcing the rental agreements rules, you could be putting your self-storage operation in jeopardy.
I asked the members of Self-Storage Talk their three top rules when it comes to their self-storage rental agreement. Not surprising, getting them signed and making sure tenant read the agreement in its entirety is the most important. Getting a signature is a no-brainer. Why would you present a legal contract and not get a signature? With more units being rented via the Internet, its important operators require tenants to come into the office and sign the document. And while it may take longer to go over the rental agreement every time you sign a tenant, it can be well worth the time upfront versus problems down the road.
If you havent really looked at your rental agreement since 1998, its time. If youve never asked an attorney to review it, why not? This is a legal contract so treat it as such.
ISS offers tons of information about rental agreements and other legal issues. With the help of industry attorney Jeff Greenberger, ISS gathered all the state statutes in one convenient location on our website. Youll find the ISS Lien Law Registry here.
Mr. Greenberger and other attorneys have also written several articles on rental agreements over the years. Topics include making big changes or small revisions, what to include, how to handle vehicles and other legal matters. Just type Rental Agreements into the search box on the ISS website to find these informative articles. You can also view Greenbergers webinar, Updating Your Self-Storage Rental Agreement, here.
The new ISS Store also features video from Greenbergers seminar at the recent Inside Self-Storage World Expo. He covers a variety of legal topics including rental agreements, state laws, tenant defaults and more.
Finally, be on the lookout for the July print edition of ISS, our business protection issue. In addition to articles about legal matters, the issue will also discuss self-storage insurance, crime prevention and how to create a safer facility environment.
Have a legal question or comment, share it below or on Self-Storage Talk, the industrys largest online forum with more than 5,000 members.