What should my self-storage contract include?

January 29, 2015

A binding self-storage contract is necessary when renting a unit at a warehouse facility. Here are a few things you should make sure are formally guaranteed.

What should my self-storage contract include?

Elements that should be included in your storage contract:

  • The company’s full address and all contact information.
  • Your name and complete address.
  • Duration of the lease (start to end).
  • The rental rate (daily, weekly, monthly or annually).
  • A detailed list of services and amenities including the dimensions of the unit, the unit’s number, heating and pest control.
  • Exclusions and conditions (for example, a list of prohibited items and materials).
  • A list of the lessee’s responsibilities and obligations, which usually includes mandatory insurance coverage.
  • Accepted methods of payment, as well as penalties and consequences in the event of non-payment.
  • The process for terminating the contract.

Read the fine print

Terms and conditions must be read carefully. These details are every bit as important at the general clauses of the contract. In the event of a dispute, it can spell the difference between a quick resolution and a lengthy mediation.

Important details

  • Always remember when your rent is due. Being delinquent by even a couple of days can cause all sort of problems, especially if you make a habit of it. If you forget to pay your rent, you’ll quickly find a second lock on your storage unit which can lead to other frustrating events. Beyond denying access to the unit, the warehouse owner may charge additional fees to remove the lock.
  • Most warehouses require that you buy insurance for your belongings. Find out what's covered by your current homeowner’s insurance and buy additional coverage, if applicable. You can also purchase insurance through the warehouse’s insurers. If you buy insurance through the warehouse, be sure the coverage is extensive.
  • Many storage facilities require notice before a visit. There can be logistics issues which require arrangements to be made prior to visiting the warehouse. In some cases, if ample notice is not provided ahead of time, access to the unit may be refused.
  • Fees and penalties may ensue if the storage unit is not left in the same condition it was when you took possession. Billable damages can include hooks and holes drilled into walls. If you used the unit to store a vehicle, you may be asked to scrub out damage from oil stains, tread marks or mud.
  • If you’ve been delinquent with non-payment for an extended period of time, storage facilities have the right to liquidate your belongings to recover monies owed to them. Foreclosure laws governing storage units vary depending on the facility and the province it’s located in.

Don’t forget

Ask questions and be clear on all the details of your rental contract. Some contracts are unnecessarily complex with legal jargon you may not be familiar with, so take your time and read it carefully. Remember that you can also add terms and conditions to the contract, if they haven’t already been covered.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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