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What is a Storage Rental Agreement?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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A storage rental agreement is a legal agreement between a party who provides rental storage space and the party who rents it from them. These days, many agreements are made with commercial storage rental companies with different branches in many locations. That means that most adhere to legal templates and are relatively standardized to provide clear terms and conditions. As a binding written agreement, it is part of real estate law in general and contains some legal terminology that will help legal professionals sort through any conflict or issue between the renting party, and the individual, household, business or other party who rents the spaces that are provided.

Terms included in a storage rental agreement will include limits on the duration of the storage contract, as well as information about when rates may change, or how the renter may charge for storage on an ongoing basis. The agreement will also generally cover access to the space, as well as upkeep for the property and specific rental units. Customers can refer to their paperwork for any restrictive policies or other concerns.

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It will also typically include provisions for environmental conditioning, if this is offered by the company as part of the rental contract. The contract will likely include information on restricted or banned materials, including hazardous materials, and any other conditions for using the storage space. Customers will often find conditions involving use of the space, where a wide number of business and residential uses are disallowed by the company or other renting party.

As a common resource in contract law, a storage rental agreement can be helpful when the needs of the customer change or if the renting party finds out that the customer is inappropriately using the storage space. This contract can also be useful when the management of a storage space changes or when a rental facility goes out of business. Both parties involved in the transaction can refer to their agreement as a first step in solving any questions related to what they originally agreed on. Although they are a common part of large commercial storage rental leases, these agreements can also play an important role in more informal contracts for use of a single garage space or other “rental by owner” situation where clearer rental terms can make long term management of a rental property easier.

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ceilingcat
Post 7

@strawCake - That does sound convenient. I hate when I have to sign a yearly contract for something. A lot can change in a year!

Anyway, a lot of my friends are apartment dwellers, so I've heard plenty of stories about storage places. A lot of them are great, but some are not so great.

One of my friends signed a storage rental agreement and got quite a discount on her monthly bill because they were running a special. However, she neglected to read the fine print on her contract. They don't sell your stuff if you miss one payment, but they do double your monthly bill. She was one day late paying, and she ended up paying more than the regular price for the whole rest of her yearlong contract.

strawCake
Post 6

I've rented storage from several different places, and I've never had a problem. Also, all the places I've rented from have been month to month storage spaces. The property rental agreement clearly states that we can terminate our relationship with the company at any time, as long as we give them 30 days notice.

This really came in handy when we moved the last time. We simply notified them the month before we were moving, and as long as we had our stuff out within 30 days, we didn't have to pay for another month.

It's a really good idea to get a clause like this in your storage rental agreement.

OeKc05
Post 5

I see classified ads in the newspaper from time to time announcing that the contents of several storage units will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. These ads state at the top that the storage company has tried numerous times to contact the renters, but they continue to be delinquent on their payments.

The ads even give the names and addresses of the renters. I don't know if this is to shame them or to remind them that they owe money to the company. Either way, it is a public announcement that these people have violated their storage rental agreements.

I have never been to one of these auctions, because you don't get to see inside the storage unit before you bid. I would hate to end up with only a stack of old papers and be out a few hundred dollars.

tigers88
Post 4

It is always a good idea to pay close attention to the section of the contract that outlines how the rental agency will maintain the property. I had a unit in a building for several decades. For most of the contract the building and grounds were well maintained and I never had to worry about the stuff in my unit being damaged because of problems with the building.

But eventually the management changed and the building fell into disrepair. Light bulbs weren't replaced, there was water damage in several units and some of the windows were blown out in a storm. They made no effort to fix these problems. I appealed to the agency but they didn't seem to care. Rather than put up with their disregard and risk the safety of my property, I canceled my contract and moved my stuff to a unit where it felt safe.

whiteplane
Post 3

Its always a good policy to read a storage rental agreement thoroughly before you sign it. In general they are pretty standard contracts and you will not find anything unexpected. But there are some storage rental agencies that are not completely on the level and some of them insert very harsh and restrictive clauses into their contracts.

I know this from experience unfortunately. I had a rental unit once where I fell behind on the payments for just one month. It is a long story why and not completely my fault but I was behind all the same. There was a clause in the contract which I had not taken the time to read thoroughly that authorized the rental

company to seize all the property in my unit if I was delinquent in payment for 30 days.

The value of the stuff in the unit was much greater than what I owned them but that didn't matter. I tried to fight it in court but I didn't really have the money for a lawyer. If only I had read through that contract. Don't repeat my mistakes.

drtroubles
Post 2

Does anyone know where you can get a sample rental agreement form?

We have a lot of extra space on our property and are considering setting up some storage for rent. We would like to find a copy of a mini storage rental agreement that we could modify to suit our purposes.

Also, when drawing up a storage rental agreement what kind of insurance do you need to provide to renters?

We are assuming we will have to register as a small business, but as far as insurance goes we're not sure what to do yet. Any advice would be appreciated.

lonelygod
Post 1

Heading into a storage rental agreement can be a big decision and sometimes you might regret signing up for something. Luckily most states have mandatory cooling off periods on storage rental agreement forms, and all contracts for that matter. Basically if you sign up for something and get cold feet for whatever reason you can cancel the storage unit rental agreement within a set time, usually 7 to 14 days.

One thing to remember though is to get proof of your cancellation in writing. You don't need to tell them why you are canceling, just that you are exercising your right under the cooling off law in your area. A good way to get proof is to fax your cancellation letter.

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