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Tips & Advice | Storage

Everything You Need to Know About Self Storage Contracts

self-storage contracts

Renting a storage unit can be of tremendous benefit to you as it allows you to free up much-needed space in your home and provides a safe space for the things you don’t currently need or only use on occasion.

Like any other contract, the lease agreement between you and your storage facility can be complicated and trying to understand what should be included and what can be left out can feel overwhelming. That’s why, as one of Sydney’s most trusted self-storage facilities, we wanted to devote today’s blog to the topic of self-storage contracts. We’ve gathered a list of everything you need to know before signing on the dotted line.

Ideally, you have done your due diligence and decided to partner with a facility that makes the lease agreement as user friendly as possible (not all companies do). But, at the end of the day it is your responsibility to ensure you understand everything included in the contract…and that’s why we’re here to help.

You may be wondering Do I really need a formal contract? If I know when to deliver my payments, can’t we keep things informal and wrap things up with a firm handshake?

The short answer is—absolutely not. The whole purpose of having a document is to keep you and your belongings safe and to make clear to both parties:

  • When your rental agreement begins and ends
  • When payments are due
  • Understand their responsibilities
  • Are properly protected

While it may seem excessive, making your lease as detailed as possible will work to your benefit in the long run, so be sure your contract includes the following information:

1. Beginning and End Dates for the Lease

First and foremost, your contract should include the dates for the beginning and end of your lease. If it is an open lease (meaning there is no end date), your contract should include information for ending the lease. How much notice are you required to give? How much time do you have to move your belongings out once you give notice? If you give notice in the middle of the month, will your rent be pro-rated or are you expected to pay in full for the rest of the month?

2. Payments

This is pretty self-explanatory but having the cost of monthly rent written in your contract is a must. You would be surprised how often unscrupulous facilities will modify the rent when it isn’t preserved in writing.

The amount of any security deposit expected should also be included as well as the terms under which the deposit will be returned to you. And it should be clear how and what forms of payment is accepted by your facility.

Make sure the contract also includes what they charge in the event of a late or missed payment, and if there are additional fees for losing keys or cutting locks.

3. Renter’s Rules

This is the nuts and bolts of the agreement where the landlord lays out exactly what can and cannot be stored in the unit. It’s important to remember that storage units are meant for storing household items—furniture, clothing, mementos, and the like. Most facilities frown on the storing of hazardous materials or chemicals, ammunition or weapons, and uninsured or unregistered vehicles (many storage companies require proof of registration and insurance before they’ll allow vehicles to be stored).

You’ll also find the facilities’ expectations for the cleanliness of your unit in this section of the contract. At the minimum, many companies expect you to leave your unit clean and swept free of debris and dust prior to end of your lease.

4. Landlord’s Rights

As we previously mentioned, your rental contract should also make clear the landlord’s rights when it comes to entering your unit (in the event of an onsite emergency like a water leak, fire, or natural disaster, for example).

It should also explain under what circumstances your landlord can lock you out of your unit and how you can regain access. Additionally, the contract should include detailed information explaining what happens should a landlord seize your unit and belongings if you stop paying rent.

We know contracts often seem overly wordy and tedious, but it is important to take the time to carefully read through your contract. If you are unclear about any information found within, ask. And it is always a good idea to have an attorney look over any legal document before you sign.

If you are looking for a storage facility you can trust, we hope you’ll contact us at Holloway Storage. You’ll find our contracts clear, concise, and easy to understand. We’ll treat your belongings as if they were our own, keeping them safe and sound until you’re ready to have them home.

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