June 14, 2019

Read the fine print: What’s in a typical storage contract?

They say there are just two certainties in life: Death and taxes. Well, we believe the list should expand by one to include moving your stuff. To make moving even more of a pain, you have to play CSI to understand what lurks within a storage unit contract.

Here are the most important terms of a storage contract:

Payment Arrangements

The payment section of storage contract is the most important part of the contract. This section dictates how much money you can expect to shell out each period for renting a unit. The period can vary, depending on how long you plan to rent the space. However, most contracts stipulate a monthly payment that usually happens on the first day of each month. The payment section also defines your monthly method of payment. You can opt to pay cash or have the facility deduct the monthly payment from your bank or credit card account.

What You Cannot Store

Tucked into the fine print of most unit contracts is a section that states what items are prohibited for storage. Your contract might ban the storage of firearms and it certainly will prohibit the storage of explosive and flammable objects. To protect against a lawsuit, the company in charge of your unit can add language in the fine print that prohibits you from storing valuable items.

When Can You Access the Unit?

This is a classic fine print section that explains when you have access to your things. Although you think you should have access to your stuff 24 hours per day, the fact remains many companies do not allow onsite access at certain times of the day. Make sure you understand when you can get some of your stuff. Moreover, many facilities automatically turn off the gate during the night.

Terminating the Contract

Like all good things must come to an end, you can expect your storage contract to reach the same end of the line. However, it will be up to you to inform the company when you plan to move your stuff out. Expect the fine print of your contract to include a section that tells you how much advanced notice you have to give before closing out the contract. If you do not abide by the notice clause in the storage contract, you can expect the company to deduct the next month’s payment from your bank or credit card account.

Make sure you understand everything that is spelled out in a unit contract. A reputable facility representative will take the time to explain each of the most important parts of a contract, as well as circle or highlight the most important sections.