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September 15, 2021

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Milford, MA, Health Officials Urge Self-Storage Operators to Discourage Tenants From Living in Their Units

The Milford, Massachusetts, Board of Health recently sent letters to at least three local self-storage operators, urging them to ensure tenants aren’t living inside their units. The board initially sent a letter last month to an unidentified facility at 15 Beach St. after a man authorities believe was living in his unit was stabbed to death. Last week, similar letters were sent to a CubeSmart on Fortune Boulevard and Secure Self Storage on E. Main Street, according to the source, though it’s unclear why those properties were singled out.

The letters reminded facility owners that any tenants living in their units is a violation of the self-storage lease agreement and subject to legal liabilities. Officials also detailed why living inside a storage unit is unsafe and provided support materials, such as tips on how to prevent and detect onsite habitation. The board recommends that operators use motion-sensor lighting, keep bathrooms locked, and strictly limit access to hot water and electricity. “With enough deterrents, stowaway tenants will realize staying on site is not a viable option,” it wrote.

“As self-storage owners or managers, you are probably aware that oftentimes unhoused individuals or families in desperate situations turn to storage units as a more affordable place to live,” the letters said. “No matter how bleak their living situation or how nice the tenant is, it is illegal to inhabit a storage unit.”

The board also suggested that self-storage businesses should provide customers with information on homeless shelters, transition assistance, food pantries, churches and other resources that might help those in need, though it didn’t recommend any specific services or organizations, according to the source. “If you don’t have pamphlets available, simply print out something for the tenant with information on where the nearest shelter is, how to get there, what days they’re open, and what time they close,” the letter stated.

CubeSmart owns or manages 1,259 facilities nationwide. Its operating portfolio comprises 87.2 million square feet.

Secure operates 15 self-storage facilities in the Northeast and Ontario, Canada.

Source:
Milford Daily News, After Slaying, Milford Tells Owners to Make Storage Units 'Uncomfortable' to Live in

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