Protect Yourself: Don’t Fall for These 7 Illegal Provisions in Self-Storage Unit Agreements

The below information is not legal advice and is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice, seek the services of a competent professional.

Imagine this: you finally find the perfect self-storage unit for all of your belongings.

The storage facility representative hands you the rental agreement, and you’re ready to sign and store your stuff as soon as possible.

But hold on! Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to review the agreement carefully. Failure to do so could lead to legal problems in the future.

Be prepared and forewarned so that you are armed with the knowledge you need to get a good agreement. Let’s take a look!

Form of the Agreement: Boilerplate vs. State-Approved

When it comes to renting a self-storage unit, it’s important to carefully review the rental agreement before signing on the dotted line.

If you’d like to see what an example self storage contract is supposed to look like, check out this blank self storage rental agreement PDF.

Many facilities use a boilerplate rental agreements that they download from the internet to avoid paying for an attorney to draft a valid and effective rental agreement, or to pay for a state-approved rental agreement with enforceable terms.

However, it turns out that many of these agreements may contain illegal provisions or terms not allowed in your state. We have heard several stories from people who found out after their agreement was signed.

Some self-storage unit facilities may even add their own illegal provisions to the agreement, which could render the entire agreement unenforceable. If this is the case, it could be important for you to know that.

These illegal provisions may force the renter to accept an uninhabitable unit without any liability on the part of the facility or waive the renter’s legal rights.

This could lead to legal troubles down the road if the renter ever needs to take legal action against the facility.

To avoid running into issues with illegal provisions in a rental agreement, it’s important to do your research and understand the laws in your state regarding self-storage unit rental agreements.

Many states have specific requirements for rental agreements that storage facilities must follow, and some states may even require state-approved rental agreements with specific language and provisions.

By understanding the laws in your state and carefully reviewing the rental agreement, you can protect yourself from illegal provisions and ensure that you’re getting a fair deal.

Form of the Agreement
You can protect yourself from illegal provisions and ensure that you’re getting a fair deal.

Liability for Damages

When renting a self-storage unit, it’s important to understand your liability for damages. In most rental agreements, the renter is responsible for any damages caused directly by them or their guests.

This means if you accidentally break something while moving your items in or out of the unit, you would be responsible for repairing or replacing it.

However, a provision that holds the renter liable for damage outside of their control is usually illegal.

For example, if a natural disaster damages the unit, the renter shouldn’t be held responsible for something outside of their control.

It’s important to review your rental agreement carefully and ensure that you are not agreeing to any provisions that hold you liable for damages outside of your control.

In addition to natural disasters, there may be other circumstances outside of your control that could cause damage to your unit.

For example, if the facility has a fire or a flood, you shouldn’t be held responsible for any damage caused to your unit as a result.

It’s important to understand your rights and protections as a renter, and to ensure that your rental agreement does not contain any illegal provisions that could hold you responsible for damages outside of your control.

Waiving Legal Obligations

When renting a self-storage unit, it’s important to read the rental agreement carefully, as some facilities may try to include illegal provisions that waive the facility’s responsibility to maintain the storage unit. This is done to avoid liability in case of theft, fire, or other accidents.

This illegal provision forces the renter to accept an unsafe or insecure storage unit without any liability on the facility’s part.

This provision is illegal and allows the facility to provide an unsafe storage unit without any liability on their part. It’s important for renters to understand their legal rights and refuse to sign such an agreement.

If you come across this kind of provision in a self-storage unit rental agreement, it’s important to just bring it up with the facility management and refuse to sign it.

By signing such an agreement, you may be giving up your legal rights and could be held liable in case of theft or damage to your belongings.

It’s important to choose a facility that provides a fair and legal rental agreement to protect your rights and property.

Eviction Process

An illegal provision in a self-storage unit rental agreement is one that has the renter waive their rights to the eviction process or any other legal remedy they may have against the facility.

This provision attempts to bypass the legal process required for evicting a renter, which is required to be orderly and civil in most states.

The eviction process can be a sensitive topic for both renters and self-storage unit facilities. As a renter, it’s important to be aware of any illegal provisions in the rental agreement that attempt to waive your rights to the eviction process.

If such a provision exists, it could result in the facility bypassing the legal process required for evicting a renter, leading to legal troubles down the road.

In most states, an orderly and civil eviction process is required for self-storage unit facilities. This process typically requires the facility to sue the renter first, allowing them to respond to the eviction action and giving the court the opportunity to make a decision.

By waiving this process, the facility is attempting to skirt the legal requirements and potentially putting themselves and the renter at risk.

It’s important to know the eviction process required by law in your state to ensure that the facility is following proper procedures.

Being aware of these details can help renters avoid legal troubles and ensure a fair and just eviction process in case it becomes necessary.

Confessing judgment is a legal term that many people are not familiar with
Confessing judgment is a legal term that many people are not familiar with and can be devastating for renters.

Confessing Judgment

Some self-storage unit rental agreements contain a clause that authorizes the facility to confess judgment against the renter for any action filed on behalf of the facility.

This means the renter automatically admits to being wrong without even trying to defend themselves, ignoring the due process of law.

Confessing judgment is a legal term that many people are not familiar with, yet it can be a potentially devastating provision for self-storage unit renters.

Essentially, it means that the facility can sue and win without the renter having any legal recourse. This clause may seem innocuous, but it is a serious legal issue that renters should be aware of before signing any self-storage unit rental agreement.

Confessing judgment is a controversial issue, and many states have already banned it. However, some self-storage unit facilities continue to use it in their rental agreements.

The clause is often buried deep within the rental agreement, making it difficult for renters to spot. If renters do come across it, they should be aware of the potential consequences of signing such an agreement.

If the renter defaults on their rental payments, the facility can sue them and win without giving them an opportunity to defend themselves.

It is crucial for renters to review any self-storage unit rental agreement carefully, especially the fine print.

If a renter comes across a confessing judgment clause, they should seek legal advice before signing anything.

Many lawyers offer free consultations, and it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to legal matters. By understanding the potential pitfalls of a confessing judgment clause, renters can protect themselves and their legal rights.

Legal Fees and Costs
About legal fees and costs

Attorney Fees and Costs

When renting a self-storage unit, it’s important to read the rental agreement carefully to avoid any illegal provisions that could cause legal trouble down the road.

One such provision is an agreement that allows the facility to automatically have the renter pay their attorney fees and costs in any legal action brought against them, which is illegal in most states.

The storage facility can only ask the court to tack on legal expenses and costs if they win the case, not before.

While it’s reasonable for the facility to recover legal expenses if they win the case, the renter should not be automatically responsible for the facility’s attorney fees and costs in any legal action brought against them.

Renters should be aware that they have the right to dispute any legal action brought against them, and they should not be punished for exercising that right.

Additionally, renters should be aware that some rental agreements may attempt to add additional fees or costs that are not allowed by state law.

For example, some facilities may attempt to charge a late fee that is higher than the legal limit, or attempt to charge a fee for an early termination of the rental agreement — which is not allowed in some states.

Carefully read any agreement and look out for illegal provisions that may put you at a disadvantage in the event of a legal dispute.

If you do come across any illegal provision, speak up and negotiate with the self storage facility to make sure your legal rights are protected.

Automatic Eviction

A self-storage unit facility cannot automatically evict a renter when they are a victim of a crime on the premises.

For example, if a renter’s unit is broken into, the facility cannot evict the renter for something they didn’t cause.

Automatic eviction is not legal under any circumstances in most states. A self-storage unit facility cannot evict a renter just because the renter was a victim of a crime that occurred on the facility’s premises.

In such a situation, the facility has no legal basis to evict the renter. In fact, the facility has a legal obligation to provide a safe and secure environment for its renters. If the facility fails to do so, it could be liable for damages caused by the crime.

However, the facility may have the right to terminate the rental agreement if the renter has violated the terms of the agreement.

For example, if the renter was involved in criminal activity, the facility could terminate the rental agreement. It’s important to note that the facility must follow the proper legal procedures when terminating the agreement, which could involve going through the court system.

In most cases, the facility cannot evict the renter without first providing a notice of eviction and giving the renter an opportunity to respond.

The renter may have the right to dispute the eviction and present evidence in court to support their case. The facility must also follow the proper procedures for disposing of the renter’s property that is left behind, which usually involves notifying the renter and giving them a certain amount of time to claim their property.

The facility must follow the proper legal procedures when terminating a rental agreement and evicting a renter. It’s important for renters to be aware of their legal rights and obligations under their rental agreement and to take appropriate action if they believe their rights have been violated.

Both self-storage unit facilities and renters should be aware of these illegal provisions that could make a rental agreement unenforceable.

Before signing a rental agreement, renters should read the entire document to understand what they’re agreeing to and look out for any illegal provisions.

Facilities should review their state laws regarding self-storage unit agreements to avoid any illegal provisions that could result in a voided rental agreement.


Cost Comparison: Renting a Storage Unit vs. Buying a Shed

When extra storage space is needed, people often consider renting a storage unit or buying a shed. Both options come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

In this self storage comparison, we’ll take a closer look at the costs associated with each option to help you make an informed decision that suits your needs and budget.

Initial Costs and Investments

The upfront costs of renting a storage unit and buying a shed can differ significantly.

While renting a storage unit typically requires a monthly fee and possibly a deposit, buying a shed involves a larger initial investment.

Renting a Storage Unit

Storage unit rental fees vary depending on factors such as location, size, and additional features like climate control.

You may also need to pay a deposit or administration fee when signing up for a rental agreement.

Some facilities offer promotions or discounts, such as a free first month or a reduced rate for long-term rentals.

Buying a Shed

When purchasing a shed, you’ll need to consider the cost of the shed itself, as well as any additional expenses such as delivery, installation, and site preparation.

Sheds come in various materials, sizes, and styles, with prices ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Remember that high-quality materials and proper installation are essential for the shed’s durability and longevity.

On, there are spaces available for renting a shed. If you own a shed and need extra money, you could rent available space on that site.

Monthly Expenses

After the initial investment, ongoing costs should be considered. Storage unit rental fees are a monthly expense, while owning a shed may have occasional maintenance costs.

Storage Unit Rental Fees

When renting a storage unit, you will have a recurring monthly fee.

Some facilities also charge additional fees for services like 24-hour access, climate control or increased security measures.

When renting a storage unit, you’ll need to budget for the monthly rental fee.

Keep in mind that fees may increase over time due to market fluctuations or facility management decisions.


Shed Maintenance and Upkeep

While owning a shed eliminates monthly rental fees, it does come with occasional maintenance expenses.

Depending on the material, you may need to repaint, reseal, or repair your shed periodically.

Furthermore, if you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, you may need to invest in proper insulation or extra reinforcement to protect your belongings.

Shed Property Taxes

While owning a shed does not involve monthly rental fees, adding a shed to your property may affect your property taxes, depending on local regulations.

Accessibility and Convenience

When choosing between a storage unit and a shed, it’s important to consider how easy it is to access your belongings and the convenience of each option.

The flexibility and convenience of renting a storage unit or owning a shed can impact your overall costs and satisfaction with your chosen option.

Storage Unit Accessibility

Storage units are typically located in secure facilities with restricted access, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.

While this offers added security for your belongings, it may limit your access to your items, especially if the facility has specific operating hours or access restrictions.

Storage facilities usually offer convenient access hours, and some even provide 24/7 access.

However, you may need to travel to the facility to access your belongings, which can be inconvenient for some people.

Shed Location and Accessibility

Having a shed on your property offers the ultimate convenience, as you can access your belongings whenever you want.

However, this may not be an option if you have limited space or if local regulations prevent you from installing a shed.

In such cases, renting a storage unit may be the more viable option.

Security and Protection

Keeping your belongings safe and secure is a crucial factor when choosing a storage solution.

You may want to evaluate the security measures and environmental protection each option provides.

Storage Unit Security

Storage facilities typically offer various security measures such as gated access, surveillance cameras, and individual unit locks.

Climate-controlled units can also protect your items from environmental extremes.

Shed Security

When storing items in a shed, you’ll need to consider the security measures you’ll take to protect your belongings.

Installing a sturdy lock, motion-activated lights, or a security system can help deter theft.

Additionally, you may need to invest in insulation or ventilation to protect items from extreme temperatures or moisture.

Long-term Value

You’ll need to weigh the long-term costs of renting a storage unit compared to buying a shed. Each option has pros and cons.

Storage Unit Rent over Time

Over the years, the cost of renting a storage unit can add up.

If you plan to use the unit for an extended period, it’s essential to evaluate the total cost of rent over time and compare it to the cost of purchasing a shed.

Shed Resale Value

If you choose to buy a shed and later decide to sell it, you may be able to recoup some of the initial investment.

The resale value of a shed depends on factors such as its condition, materials, and demand in the local market.


Long-term vs. Short-term Needs

Your self storage prices comparison, whether temporary or long-lasting, can influence which option is more cost-effective and practical.

With this in mind, there’s a good rule of thumb when ultimately determining how to solve a storage need: Storage units for short term, Shed for long term.

Storage Units for Short-term Needs

If you only require extra storage for a short period, renting a storage unit may be more cost-effective and convenient.

There’s no need for a significant upfront investment, and you can easily rent a different unit if your storage needs change.

Sheds for Long-term Needs

If you anticipate needing extra storage space for an extended period, investing in a shed may be more cost-effective in the long run.

While the initial investment is higher, you’ll have a permanent storage solution without ongoing rental fees.

When comparing the costs of renting a storage unit and buying a shed, people often base their decision on initial investment, ongoing expenses, accessibility, security and how long the storage will be needed.

By carefully looking at each option, you can determine which solution best fits your budget, lifestyle and requirement.

Personal circumstances and priorities may play a role in your final decision.

If you value convenience and accessibility, a shed on your property may be the ideal choice.

On the other hand, if security and climate control are your top concerns, renting a storage unit is a better fit.

Think about factors such as flexibility, convenience, and accessibility. By carefully weighing these factors, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your need.

Ultimately the choice between renting a storage unit and buying a shed comes down to your unique needs and preferences.

Take the time to research and compare costs. Your research probably won’t take very long and could save you money and time.

You may want to consider consulting with a storage professional to help you make your decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to rent a shed?

The cost to rent a shed varies depending on many factors like the size of the shed, your location, the rental period and the style of the shed whether it’s a basic style or a more specialized one with features like climate control.

As a ball park figure, you can expect to pay around $65 to $350 per month to rent a basic storage shed. Although expect to find higher prices in the more populated areas and when you’re looking at larger, specialized sheds.

We recommend contacting local shed rental companies — or storage facilities – in your area. They can provide you with a better quote based on your needs.

How can I find self storage sheds near me?

Here’s some ways you can try:

  1. Search the Internet: Check with Google and type in “self storage sheds near me” or “storage units near me“. This should bring up a list of places to check nearby.
  2. Ask for Recommendations: If you know anyone who’s used a self storage shed, ask them for recommendations. Personal experiences can be helpful in finding a good place.

Legal Aspects of Renting a Unit: Storage Unit Contracts and Regulations and Storage Unit Restrictions

The below information is not legal advice and is for informational purposes only including storage unit privacy laws. If you need legal advice, seek the services of a competent professional.

Renting a storage unit is a convenient solution for individuals and businesses in need of extra space.

However, it is essential to understand the legal aspects of renting a storage unit, including contracts and regulations, to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

This article will explore the different legal aspects you should be aware of before signing a storage unit lease.

Understanding the Storage Unit Rental Agreement

The storage unit rental agreement, also known as the lease (for self storage contracts), is a legally binding contract between the tenant and the storage facility.

The self storage contract outlines the terms and conditions of the storage unit rental, including:

  • Monthly rental rate and payment due dates
  • Length of the rental term
  • Security deposit requirements
  • Insurance requirements
  • Rules and regulations governing the use of the storage unit

Before signing a rental agreement, it is crucial to read and understand all its terms and conditions.

If you are unsure about any aspect of the contract, consult with a legal professional for guidance.

Tenancy Agreement for Storage

A tenancy-agreement-for-storage (also known as a storage rental agreement or self-storage lease agreement) — it’s a legally binding contract between the storage facility owner (landlord) and the person renting the storage space (tenant).

This specialized self storage contract outlines the terms and conditions under which the tenant is allowed to use the storage space provided by the landlord.

The tenancy agreement for storage typically includes:

  1. Rental details: This includes the location and description of the storage unit, as well as the duration of the rental period, which can be short-term or long-term, and may be subject to renewal.
  2. Rent and payment terms: This covers the amount of rent to be paid, the due date, and the acceptable methods of payment. It may also include details about late fees and penalties for non-payment.
  3. Security deposit: The agreement may require the tenant to pay a security deposit to cover potential damages or unpaid rent. The terms for refunding the security deposit upon the end of the rental period should be specified.
  4. Access and use: The agreement should outline the rules governing access to the storage unit, including hours of operation and any restrictions on items that can be stored. It may also include information about the tenant’s responsibility for securing the unit and maintaining its cleanliness.
  5. Termination: The agreement should specify the circumstances under which either party can terminate the contract, including breaches of the agreement, non-payment of rent, or abandonment of the storage unit. The notice period required for termination should also be outlined.
  6. Liability and insurance: The agreement should clarify the extent of the landlord’s liability for any loss or damage to the tenant’s property while it is in storage. In most cases, the landlord’s liability will be limited, and the tenant will be responsible for obtaining their own insurance coverage for stored items.
  7. Governing law: The agreement should specify the jurisdiction’s laws governing the contract.

Both parties should carefully review and understand the terms and conditions before signing a tenancy agreement for storage.

It is essential to keep a copy of the signed agreement for future reference in case any disputes or issues arise during the rental period.

Storage Unit Insurance Requirements

Many storage facilities require tenants to maintain insurance coverage for their stored belongings.

This can be accomplished through:

  • Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, which may cover stored items
  • A separate storage unit insurance policy specifically designed for stored belongings

Be sure to review your insurance policy’s coverage limits and exclusions, and adjust it as necessary to meet the storage facility’s requirements.

State and Local Regulations

Each state and municipality may have its own regulations governing the operation of self-storage facilities.

These regulations can include:

  • Zoning laws that dictate where storage facilities can be built
  • Health and safety codes that set standards for facility maintenance
  • Consumer protection laws that address potential unfair business practices and storage unit privacy laws

Ensure that the storage facility you choose complies with all applicable laws and regulations to protect your interests as a tenant.

Prohibited Items and Storage Unit Restrictions

Storage unit rental agreements typically contain a list of prohibited items and activities, such as:

  • Storing hazardous or flammable materials
  • Using the storage unit as living quarters
  • Running a business directly from the storage unit

Violating these storage unit restrictions can result in eviction from the storage facility or legal penalties.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the storage unit rules and regulations — and abide by them to avoid issues.

Understanding the Lien Process

If a tenant fails to pay their storage unit rent, the facility owner may have the legal right to place a lien on the stored items.

This process, known as the lien process, allows the facility owner to eventually sell the items to recover unpaid rent.

Laws governing the lien process vary by state, so it is important to understand the specific regulations in your jurisdiction.

Terminating Storage Unit Contracts

Both the tenant and the storage facility owner have the right to terminate storage unit contracts under specific circumstances, such as:

  • Non-payment of rent
  • Violation of lease terms
  • Expiration of the rental term

Understanding the process and requirements for lease termination can help you avoid unexpected fees or legal disputes.

Typically the tenant needs to submit a termination letter with a 30 day advance notice.

Resolving Storage Unit Disputes

In the event of a dispute between a tenant and storage facility owner, it is essential to follow legal procedures to resolve the issue.

This can include:

  • Negotiating a resolution directly with the facility owner
  • Filing a complaint with a local consumer protection agency
  • Seeking mediation or arbitration to settle the dispute
  • Taking legal action in small claims court or civil court, if necessary

Being aware of your legal rights and obligations as a storage unit tenant can help you navigate potential disputes and protect your interests.

Renting a storage unit involves various legal aspects, from understanding the rental agreement to complying with state and local regulations.

Understanding the legal aspects of renting a storage unit is essential for a stress-free storage experience.

Before signing a rental agreement, make sure you comprehend the terms and conditions, insurance requirements, and applicable state and local regulations.

Familiarize yourself with the default procedures, termination process, and dispute resolution methods to protect your rights and stored belongings.

What is Agreement Stacking in Conflict Resolution?

In the context of storage unit rules and regulations, agreement stacking in conflict resolution refers to the process of finding common ground between the tenant and the storage facility owner (or management) by focusing on smaller agreements before addressing the main dispute.

This approach can be useful for you when conflicts arise over renting storage unit issues like timely payments, lease terms, facility rules or other disagreements between the parties.

For example, if a tenant is facing eviction due to non-payment of rent, the agreement stacking process might involve:

  1. Acknowledging that both parties understand the importance of timely rent payments to maintain a functional and profitable storage facility.
  2. Agreeing that the tenant values the storage space and wants to continue using it.
  3. Identifying any shared concerns or interests, such as maintaining a secure and well-maintained facility.

Once these smaller agreements are established, the parties can then move on to discussing the main issue at hand — such as the outstanding rent or the terms for resolving the non-payment situation while maintaining storage unit renters rights.

By building on these smaller agreements, you can create a more collaborative atmosphere that can lead to a mutually beneficial resolution of a conflict.