Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed House Bill 1265 into law on April 29, amending the current self-storage lien law to allow operators to deliver delinquency notices by hand, e-mail or other "verified" mail means. The law will go into effect July 1.
"Verified mails" refers to the U.S. Postal Services certificate of mailing. At a base rate of $1.15, the certificate of mailing is far less costly than Certified Mail, which starts at $5.54.
Another change to Section 66-31-102 of Tennessee Code Annotated includes the lien-sale newspaper-advertisement requirement. The statute now mandates one-time publishing in a newspaper or publication of local readership. In the past, two published notices were required.
- Maximum monthly late fee is $20 or 20 percent of the rent
- Operators can auction or have a tenant's vehicle removed at 60 days of delinquency, instead of the previous 90.
The Tennessee Self Storage Association (TNSSA), with support from the national Self Storage Association, spearheaded to effort to make the legislative change.
"I truly believe the changes will allow self-storage facility owners in Tennessee to more effectively communicate with their customers." said Sherry Cole, self-storage owner and chair of the TNSSA legislative committee. "It's good for business but it's also good for the consumer to bring the law into the 21st century.
"Our members were so responsive when asked them to call and e-mail their legislators. It was really the entire association who pulled together and made it happen, and I'm very proud of them," Cole said.
TNSSA President Dee Wiseman Sharp said, "As an insurance agent in the self-storage industry, I'm very excited to see more legal protection for self-storage owners." She added the association will host a May 17 meeting in Knoxville, where lobbyists will be on-hand to explain the changes in the statute. She strongly encourages Tennessee facility owners to attend.
To follow the progress of the law through the legislature and to read the original bill and its amendments, visit http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=SB1293.