As self-storage becomes an increasingly crowded marketplace, operators must take special care to avoid exposing their business to unnecessary risk. Whether you’re new to the industry or a veteran owner or manager, it’s easy to make preventable mistakes that can lead to costly litigation. At a time when consumer accountability isn’t always present, sharpening your risk-management acumen is critical.
Fortunately, the Inside Self-Storage World Expo, April 3-6, at the Paris Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas, offers plenty of resources on tap to help you steer clear of legal pitfalls. Among the show’s 45 education seminars, eight workshops, six networking opportunities and nearly 200 product and service exhibits, there are several offerings that will provide insight specific to legal and insurance-related concerns.
The seminar-track education program includes several 50-minute sessions related to legal and liability issues They include:
- Cracked Clauses, Broken Business … Lease Verbiage That Can Destroy Self-Storage—The language of your rental agreement is important. Learn which lease clauses can be particularly problematic and how a simple misuse or misinterpretation of wording can create unnecessary liability. (Management Track, April 4)
- Lawsuit-Proofing Your Self-Storage Business—Get insight to lawsuit trends, typical tenant claims, common mistakes and oversights that can lead to potential liability and learn strategies to minimize the risk of being sued through real-life examples. (Management Track, April 5)
- Underwriting Secrets Revealed: Managing Your Self-Storage Insurance Costs—Savvy operators play an important role in calculating insurance costs. Learn the underwriting secrets that can help you control these expenses and understand the key elements of your risk-management profile. (Ownership Track, April 5)
- Wage and Hour Mistakes in Self-Storage: Minimizing Employer Liability—Not only are federal and state labor departments increasing investigative resources, private wage-and-hour lawsuits are on the rise and costly to defend. Get insight to areas of exposure facing self-storage owners and walk away with tips on how to comply with wage requirements and minimize liability in the event of a lawsuit. (Ownership Track, April 5)
Those looking for more in-depth coursework should consider the four-hour legal workshops that bookend the expo this year. Both will be led by accomplished industry attorneys with a wealth of knowledge and experience. There’s also a bonus special Q&A event focused specifically on legal issues in self-storage.
- Legal Learning Live Workshop: Jeffrey Greenberger, a partner with Greenberger & Brewer LLP, will demonstrate how self-storage operators can sometimes create costly, unintended consequences unnecessarily. He’ll take a deep dive into lien-sale errors, tenant bankruptcy, vehicle storage (including outdoor), bailments and other actions that lead to high-risk legal exposure. Learn how to protect yourself from slip-ups that can expose your business to liability. (April 3, 1-5 p.m.)
- Self-Storage Legal Q&A: Greenberger will also host an open-forum-style Q&A open to all attendees and exhibitors. This annual event is a no-holds-barred, unrecorded session designed specifically to help you improve your operation as soon as you get back to the office. (April 5, 5-6:30 p.m.)
- Advanced Legal Workshop: Vince Toenjes, counsel, and Scott Zucker, partner, with Weissmann Zucker Euster Morochnik P.C., will discuss federal laws that impact storage operations including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. They’ll also address issues surrounding the acquisition and disposition of self-storage properties, advise on how to choose between tenant-insurance programs and protection plans, and discuss what to do in the case of an employee dispute or wrongful sale. (April 6, 1-5 p.m.)
Hire an Expert
The ISS Exhibit Hall will be home to nearly 200 product and service providers representing all facets of the industry, including risk management, on April 4 and 5. There are at least 16 vendors that specialize in insurance and liability, including property coverages, tenant insurance and protection plans, liability and workers’ compensation, captive insurance and more. Get your sneak peek at the show floor on April 4, 4:30 p.m., during the cocktail reception, at which you can map out your plan of action and talk to vendors in a casual and friendly atmosphere.
Whether you’re new to self-storage or a grizzled veteran, the ISS World Expo has the resources available to enable success in all areas of the business. To register or learn more about the education tracks, seminars and speakers, visit www.issworldexpo.com.