Self-Storage Challenges: How to Avoid Losing Your Possessions Over Non-Payment

One of the biggest drawbacks of renting a storage unit is that a storage provider is legally allowed to take ownership of your possessions over non-payments.

Losing valuable items like family heirlooms, photographs, furniture, or expensive jewelry is soul-crashing. However, if the rent for your storage unit goes unpaid for a couple of months, you are going to lose your possessions.

There are steps that storage providers take when a renter defaults on payments over a lengthy period. One of these steps is to send you a letter telling you what they intend to do with your possessions if you don’t pay a certain amount within a certain period.

What happens when you can’t pay?

The last thing you want is to lose your valuables, and the last thing the provider wants is to possess your items. The provider would rather pay the rent than have to go through the hassle of selling your stuff, which is the next step they take once they take ownership for non-payment.

The provider can either auction off your items or get a single buyer to buy all of your stuff. Either way, to the storage provider, it is a tedious and inconvenient task. To you, it would be a major loss.

What are your options?

Now, most storage facilities like try to develop viable solutions for renters who cannot pay the rent. So, try to work out a plan with your provider if you cannot pay the amount owed for one reason or the other.

There is a chance that your provider will agree to take a partial payment and then small monthly payments afterward until what you owe is paid off. No matter how small, making some payment gives the provider confidence that you are committed to the agreed payment plan as you try to work things out.

There is also some assurance that the company will not sell your items. However, once you make a partial payment, consider reclaiming some of your possessions, particularly the most valuable ones.

You don’t want to lose your items, but if you are no longer able to make the payments, at the very least, your most valuable items will be in your possession.

However, it is advisable to try to make all your payments to avoid losing your possessions. You could borrow money from friends or relatives if you have to because the longer you take, the more money you have to pay.

If the lease term has not expired, you still have to deal with the recurring rent payments. This will add to the already owed amount for the months you did not pay rent, which can be a real financial burden.

If you are no longer able to make any further payments after making some partial payments, talk to your provider to see what other solution they can offer you. After all, they are human, and they understand that everyone experiences financial difficulties at some point in their lives.

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