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The Right to Refuse Service

While self-storage is a magnet for criminals, the self-storage manager can minimize problems down the road by refusing service to potential problem renters.

Amy Campbell

December 28, 2009

2 Min Read
The Right to Refuse Service

Self-storage is often a magnet for drug users and makers, con artists, thieves and other baddies. For a relatively small monthly fee, people can slip in, close the rolling door and conduct their business in private. While security cameras and gates can help keep crime and criminals out, the self-storage manager is truly the gatekeeper. 

A recent thread on Self-Storage Talk explores whether it’s OK to say no to a potential renter based solely on a manager’s gut feeling. While many may see this as “profiling,” others view it as safeguarding their self-storage operation. Self-Storage Talk member Danielle writes, “... we do not need every customer that walks through the door. It pays to be selective.”

Much like the old “no shirt, no shoes, no service” signs still found outside some restaurants, bars and retailers, turning away a potential problem is a manager’s right. In the same thread Gina 6K shares what happens when a baddie slips through the cracks: cops, a whole lot of swearing, and a generally bad night.

During this time of year, more people are charitable and in better spirits. However, giving someone the benefit of the doubt could result in a nightmare down the road. While I’m not suggesting you turn away anyone outside your comfort zone—whether it be piercings and tattoos, religious clothing, whatever—I do recommend you go with your gut. If the guy seems shady, he probably is.

On the flip side, how do you gently show these people the door? The obvious answer is a simple, “We’re full.” But be forewarned, these people will often come back a few days—or even weeks—later and may seek entry via a different manager so make sure everyone’s on the same page.

Turning a potential renter away is never easy—especially for operators fighting for every rental dollar. But sometimes it’s just the right thing to do.

Share your thoughts on refusing service by posting a comment below or join the discussion Self-Storage Talk.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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