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6 Signs Someone Is Living in Your Self-Storage Unit

Countless numbers of self-storage facilities deal with people living in their units. Sadly, it goes with the territory. When can you tell someone is living in one of your units? Here are six signs.

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December 4, 2014

2 Min Read
6 Signs Someone Is Living in Your Self-Storage Unit

By Becky Blanton  

Reprinted with permission from "The Storage Facilitator" blog. 

Countless numbers of self-storage facilities deal with people living in their units. Sadly, it goes with the territory. When can you tell someone is living in one of your units? Here are six signs. 

1. You see a tenant a lot. You should be suspicious if you notice the tenant on a regular basis and he isn’t moving items in or out of the unit.

2. A tenant asks about electrical outlets in a storage unit. This means he could be seeking to use a heater, microwave oven or other appliances in the unit. Watch for any surge in electrical bills.

3. You notice a spike in the amount of toilet paper, paper towels and soap being used. If this is the case, someone might be using your restroom to clean up. At the very least, be sure your facility’s restrooms are locked so you can hand out the key and know who’s coming and going.

4. You spot footsteps in the snow before your facility’s grounds are plowed.

5. A tenant wants to rent a unit at the end of building or out of sight of the office.

6. You come across cigarette butts on the ground or more trash than usual. Are you seeing beverage bottles, food wrappers or leftover food in trash cans or dumpsters? This could indicate that someone is living in a storage unit and generating ordinary household trash.

These are just a handful of the signs that a tenant could be living in your self-storage unit. Of course, if you discover someone is indeed living on your property, you should act immediately. Not only is it against the law to live in a storage unit, it’s unsafe for you, the tenant and your other customers.  

Becky Blanton lived in a storage unit for four months in 2006. She’s a writer for “The Storage Facilitator” blog, a speaker and a consultant to self-storage operators.

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