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Mississippi, Montana, Virginia Governors Sign New Self-Storage Regulations Into Law

The governors of Mississippi, Montana and Virginia have signed updates to their state self-storage regulations, allowing facility operators to sell tenant insurance, send lien notices via verified mail or e-mail, and conduct auctions online, respectively.

In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant authorized a limited-lines license for storage operators to sell tenant insurance on March 15. Licenses approved by the insurance commissioner will make storage operators eligible to sell tenant insurance at each location within the state. Authorized employees must undergo training from the carriers they represent. House Bill 630 goes into effect on July 1.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock signed House Bill 160 into law on March 19, which allows operators to send lien notices to delinquent tenants by verified mail or e-mail. Verified mail correspondence will be deemed delivered when postmarked and properly addressed with postage paid. E-mails will be considered delivered on the date they’re sent to the last-known address provided by the tenant. The law also gives operators the right to deny unit access to tenants if they’re found to be living in a unit or using it for unlawful purposes, or if they fail to vacate at the end of the rental agreement. The new law takes effect on Oct. 1.

In Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam authorized House Bill 2509, which allows storage operators to conduct lien sales online. Auctions could previously only be held at the self-storage facility or the nearest “suitable place” where tenants’ property was stored. An advertisement promoting an online auction must be posted at least once within the city, county or town in which the self-storage facility is located prior to the lien sale. Ads must identify the sale as a public auction; the date, time and location; and form of payment.

The national Self Storage Association (SSA) and state associations supported all three measures. The SSA thanked the governors and local associations for their efforts in a March 25 e-mail newsletter to members.

Sources:
SSA Magazine Weekly 3/25/19, SSA Lauds Virginia, Mississippi and Montana Legislative Victories
Mississippi Legislature, House Bill 630
Montana Legislature, House Bill 160
Virginia’s Legislative Information System, House Bill 2509

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