The Minnesota Legislature passed a budget measure, House Bill 1031, on June 28 that also updates the state’s self-storage lien law. In addition to providing a list of items that must be included in lien notices, it contains a provision allowing self-storage tenants access to career-related clothing and other tools within their units, even after notice of default and denial of access. The updated law goes into effect on Aug. 1.
The new law states the self-storage operator need only issue one default notice to a delinquent tenant; however, the notice must include the following:
- A statement of the amount owed and demand for payment within a specified time, not less than 14 days after delivery of the lien notice
- A notice of denial of access to the unit, if denial is permitted under the terms of the lease agreement, along with the date the tenant will be locked out
- A statement that any dispute regarding denial of access can be raised by the tenant in court
- The name and contact information of the self-storage owner or representative
- A statement that the tenant’s personal property will be advertised for sale if the claim isn’t paid within the time stated in the notice, along with the time and place of the sale
- A statement of the items the tenant may remove without charge, if unit access is denied
The law still allows delinquent tenants to remove personal papers and health aids from their storage space; however, if they want to remove clothing or tools related to their livelihood, they must provide documentation from a government or nonprofit agency, or legal-aid office stating that they’re a recipient of relief based on need, eligible for legal-aid services, or a survivor of domestic violence or sexual assault. They also can’t remove any item worth more than $125, up from $50.
Another change stipulates that the description of unit contents in the lien-sale newspaper advertisement can now be general rather than specific. “This is particularly beneficial when an occupant removes property after the advertisement and before the sale,” Self Storage Association (SSA) officials said in an online summary of the measure. “Operators may still opt to provide a detailed description but are not required to do so.”
The SSA represents about 22,000 U.S. and international member-affiliated self-storage facilities, according to its website. It’s allied with several state and international self-storage associations and has about 6,000.
Minnesota Legislature, HF 1031
SSA Magazine Weekly 7/5/21, Minnesota Self Storage Lien Law Changes Take Effect August 1st