What to look for when you buy or rent a mini-warehouse

December 19, 2014

Maybe there’s a gap between the sale of your old house and the availability of your new one, and you need a place to put your furniture while you wait, or you’re going abroad for a few months. Whatever the reason for needing some storage space, these tips can help you decide if you should buy or rent a mini-warehouse.

Identify your needs

Before you sign a lease for a storage space, answer these questions so you know you’re making a wise and informed choice.

  • How long will I need it for? Most mini-warehouses are rented by the month, by blocks of months or by the year. Obviously, the longer you need to use the space, the more it will cost you. If you plan to keep commercial inventory in your unit, for example, it may be worthwhile to buy the space instead of renting it. You could see your monthly costs go down significantly. Ask the company about the possibility.
  • How much space do I need? In general, the size of a mini-warehouse varies between 2.5 and 55 square metres. Since you don’t want to pay for unnecessary space, take an inventory of your belongings and try to estimate how much space you need if you stack things carefully. The mini-warehouse company may be able to help you estimate the amount of space your stuff can fit into. Consider, as well, if you need a heated unit or not.
  • What kind of security and access is there?Although the contents of your mini-storage belong to you, not all mini-warehouses give unrestricted access to the units. Some are open around the clock, while others are accessed from inner corridors and only during business hours.

Mini-warehouses are usually constructed of concrete and steel with garage-type doors on which you can use your own lock. Multi-story buildings with interior access may employ security guards or surveillance systems.

Should I rent or buy a mini-warehouse?

The vast majority of mini-warehouses are for rent. Since their main purpose is short- and medium-term storage, purchasing a unit is not usually a necessary investment. However, as mentioned above, there are circumstances in which buying a unit can be worthwhile, especially if your storage needs are more long term or if you want to have total control over your property.

Other aspects to be reckoned with

There are a few other points to consider when you want to buy or rent a mini-warehouse:

  • Cleanliness. Check out the premises to make sure there is no mould or vermin.
  • Security. Is the warehouse patrolled by a security guard or equipped with CCTV?
  • Temperature. Is it heated? Is there any ventilation in the summer? Are the floors dry?
  • Proximity. Is it far from where you live or work? If it’s near the city, the rent may rise with time.
  • Parking. Can you pull up to your unit? Do you have to pay for parking if it’s a city mini-warehouse?
  • Loading dock. If it’s a multi-story building, is there an adequate loading dock and freight elevator?
  • Doors. Check the width of the door to make sure your furniture fits.
  • Lighting. Good lighting is a sign of good security.
What to look for when you buy or rent a mini-warehouse
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