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Inside Self-Storage Magazine 5/99: Ask The Waldmans

April 1, 1999

3 Min Read
Inside Self-Storage Magazine 5/99: Ask The Waldmans

So Sick of Slobs

DEAR WALDMANS: Why do people actually pay for a storage unit and never preparetheir goods for storage? Over and over again, tenants rent a unit in such a hurry youwould think the IRS is after them. They stuff the goods any which way into the unit, notcaring if things are covered or if some heavy piece of furniture is cramped on top ofanother smaller item. I often wonder why they search for a unit when they really couldn'tcare less about how they store their goods. Refrigerators seem to be the worst items. Icannot tell you how often we have a very strange odor coming from a unit, only to find thetenant has left food inside. What can we do about this situation? Do you have any goodsolutions to this offensive problem?

DEAR HOLDING YOUR NOSE: You do speak the truth when you say it is hard toimagine why people pay for a unit and not take care of their goods. It's just likethrowing money in the garbage. We have had units in which the stink from food was so badit caused our other tenants to complain. When it gets to that point, we contact thetenants and explain the situation. You would think they would be so humiliated that theywould hate to face us. Much to the contrary, they don't seem to think there is any realproblem. So, we started explaining to our tenants in the beginning that they need to makesure all food and perishables are removed from their refrigerators and boxes before theyoccupy the unit.

This is a good way to face the problem up front so, hopefully, it does not even occur.Have a statement along with your contract that they have read and understand your policy.Make them sign it along with the signing of the lease. We have found that our refrigeratorblues have decreased quite a bit since we advise tenants of this potential problem. Itsaves headaches in the long run for you and the tenant. To be honest, I think they reallyappreciate the help in the right and wrong way of storing. You have to remember a lot ofpeople have never stored before and really don't know the first thing about it. I makesure my employees always offer tips when they feel the tips are needed. It's surprisinghow much your new tenants will love you for it.

A father-daughter team, the Waldmans are self-storage owners/operators and attorneys. In addition, Ms. Waldman holds a master's degree in labor and employment law from Georgetown University. The Waldmans are co-authors of the industry's leading series of books on self-storage operations: Getting Started, Forms, Policies & Procedures and South Carolina Tools. Another creation of Ask The Waldmans are their colorful posters designed exclusively for the self-storage industry. 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: www.askthewaldmans.com

Views and opinions on legal matters are those of the authors. Professional counsel should be obtained before any determination or positive action is taken.

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