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West Virginia Legislature Considers Update to Self-Storage Lien Law

Update 4/26/19 – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed HB 2761 on March 26, overhauling the state’s self-storage lien law. Among the provisions not previously reported are the abilities to charge a late fee of $20 or 20 percent of monthly rent, whichever is greater; limit the value of stored property; and have vehicles towed once delinquency exceeds 60 days.

The update “adopts all of SSA’s legislative priorities,” according to an April 22 e-mail to members of the national Self Storage Association (SSA). SSA officials credited board member Alyssa Quill and self-storage owner Todd Snook for their efforts in securing passage of the bill.


2/21/19 – The West Virginia Legislature is considering an update to the state’s self-storage lien law that would enable facility operators to send default notifications via e-mail or text, advertise auctions by e-mail or a website, and conduct lien sales online. House Bill 2761 (HB 2761) was introduced to the senate judiciary committee on Feb. 15. It would supplant the state’s current lien law, which was passed in 2001.

Among the changes would be the ability to use e-mail or text for sending default notifications once a tenant is delinquent for more than 60 days. E-mail could only be used if the tenant acknowledged potential receipt of such communication on the signed rental agreement. If the operator gets no response from an e-mail or text notification, another notice would have to be hand-delivered or sent through verified mail, according to the bill.

Proceeds from lien sales held either in-person or online would have to be used to satisfy the amount owed, with any surplus sent to the tenant or other lienholder of record. If the money is returned to the self-storage business, it would be considered abandoned if not claimed within a year.

The measure was introduced on Jan. 30 and passed the house on Feb. 14. If passed into law, it would go into effect on July 1.

Sources:
SSA Magazine Weekly 4/22/19, West Virginia Significantly Overhauls Outdated Storage Lien Law
West Virginia Legislature, House Bill 2761
The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, Not so Fast: Lawmakers Trying to Limit Your Access to Information

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