Ask the Waldmans

September 1, 1997

3 Min Read
Ask the Waldmans

Ask the Waldmans

With Stanley and Jill Waldman

Should I Prorate the Rent?

Dear Waldmans: My self-storage facility is locatedin a college town, which means that we rent many units tostudents during the summer months. Our procedure is to rent unitsby the month, as that is what our state laws require. If a tenantmoves in after the first of the month, we prorate the rent.However, we do not prorate the rent if the tenant moves outearly.

One problem I have experienced is that college studentstypically move out in the middle of the month and do not want topay for an entire month's rent. In the past, I have never givenstudents a break, but now I am wondering if I am making amistake. What should I do?
--Bottom Line in Columbia, S.C.

Dear Bottom Line: Our facility is located in a collegetown and we, too, have encountered this problem. Every summer, weoffer college students a small discount off the monthly rentalrate and nothing more. If we were to prorate the rent for all thestudents who moved out early, we would certainly lose asubstantial amount of money. Of course, our rental policies havemade some students mad, but rules are rules. One way to alleviateany problems is to explain the rental procedures thoroughlybefore renting to any college student or prospective tenant. Thisway, if the student or tenant does not like your rules, he canlook elsewhere.

Just for your information, last week, we rented to morecollege students than we ever have before. Obviously, those fewstudents who did not like our procedures did not affect the otherstudents.

Many times, state law dictates whether to use an anniversarydate or a prorate date. If you have the option, we suggest thatyou use an anniversary date. Anniversary dates allow you todistribute the workload over the entire month rather than at thebeginning of the month. Additionally, you will probably receivemore late fees as people forget to pay in the middle of themonth.

Note: In regard to the "Ask the Waldmans"column in the May issue of Inside Self-Storage, employees orrepresentatives of facilities who are authorized by an insurer toissue certificates or other evidences of insurance within theState of Florida under an insurance policy issued to the lessorshould be registered with the Department of Insurance by paying a$50 fee. Upon such registration and approval, a special insurancelicense will be issued. A facility must have a representativelicensed before offering this type of service. For additionalinformation, call the Florida Department of Insurance at (850)922-3100.

A father-daughter team, Stanley and Jill Waldman are both self-storage operators and attorneys who graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law. In addition, Ms. Waldman received her master's degree in labor and employment law from Georgetown University. Together, they have devoted much of their talents to the family storage facility.

Comments and questions for "Ask the Waldmans" may be sent to: The Waldmans, P.O. Box 21416, Charleston, SC 29413; e-mail [email protected]; Web site .

Editor's Note: Views and opinions on legal matters are those of the authors. Professional counsels should be obtained before any determination or positive action is taken.

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