We took to the streets and asked past and future renters what they thought of self storage facilities and what some of the worries they have/had while renting. In doing so, we found a wide array of answers and many were claims which didn’t resonate with us. We set out to debunk these claims and came up with a list of the 10 biggest myths in renting a self storage unit.
Storage Units are Expensive
Storage units vary in cost anywhere from $5 per month to several hundred dollars per month depending upon the size of the storage unit, location of the storage facility, features and amenities of the storage facility, type of storage unit (climate controlled, RV, Boat, Wine etc) and other factors. If a person is storing expensive jewelry, fine art, paintings or antique furniture, even a few hundred dollars per month is a small expense to keep these heirlooms in your possession.
Storage Facilities are Not Safe
Sparefoot CEO, Chuck Gordon, recently stated, “Certainly, crime does occur at self-storage facilities, just as it does anywhere else. However, our analysis of thousands of consumer reviews clearly indicates that self-storage crime is not rampant. By and large, self-storage facilities around the country are safe and secure…..owners and operators spend millions of dollars on safety and security measures like electronic gates, secure building access systems, security cameras, fences, lighting and more.”
Storage Facilities are Dirty
Modern storage facilities are very clean as well as sleek looking. They are routinely cleaned and the storage units themselves are cleaned once they are emptied. The older facilities do a good job of keeping their facilities clean in order to keep customers coming back and to compete with the newer facilities. Cleanliness is not a worry at most storage facilities nowadays.
I Don’t Need a Storage Unit
While you may not need a storage unit in the way you need food and water, a storage unit is a great option to have. They are an affordable way to keep your beloved possessions while you wait for a new home to be built, work your way through a divorce or downsize in a tough economy.
I don’t Need Insurance for My Storage Unit
Storage facilities are generally not responsible for the contents of your unit. It is always a good idea to insure the goods you are intending to store. Storage insurance is almost always available to you at the time you rent your unit. Sometimes the facility collects the premium from you directly. When they do this, they usually have a financial interest in doing so. Before you buy insurance from the manager, check with your own agent, because sometimes your homeowner’s or renter’s policy will cover you for no extra cost. Your home/renters insurance should also cover your stored possessions if you ask your provider. There will most likely be a small additional monthly charge to do so.
The Small Print of Your Storage Unit Contract Doesn’t Have any Hidden Surprises
Before signing a contract of any kind be sure to read the fine print. Some companies may try to be deceptive (not storage companies of course) and some will assume you have read the contract. If you are unsure what you are signing, ask the manager to explain it. Sometimes the larger storage REIT’s will have stipulations allowing them to raise your rent after your first month of renting. Read Carefully!
The Self Storage Facility Will Not Have Adequate Space for My Vehicle
Storage facilities are no longer metal warehouses. They are state of the art, sleek looking structures. They are painted inside and out to make you feel welcome and safe. Many have coffee/snack bars, free WiFi and helpful managers onsite. They are updated, renovated and modern which makes them appealing for many people. In addition, not only will they be able to store your car in a self storage unit but you can easily drive a car or truck directly up to your storage unit in many cases. The pathways typically wide enough to fit 1-2 cars through to make it easy and convenient for renters to store and retrieve their items.
Storage Prices are Fixed and There is No Room for Negotiations
Monthly prices for storage units can generally be negotiated, especially if the storage facility is not full of tenants. Another way to negotiate a storage rate is if you have been at the facility for several months, pay on time and may only be there for a short time longer.
A $1 Monthly Unit Charge is a Great Deal
These deals are typically what you see at the major self storage REIT’s. Although a $1 monthly charge may seem like a great deal, they often try to up-sell you with insurance, locks, boxes and other charges you may not need. You may also be required to stay several months as your monthly rent increases from $1 to the normal going rate of the storage unit. Remember, if a deal looks to good to be true, it usually is. Tread Carefully!
The Type of Lock You Choose Doesn’t Matter
Most renters are so consumed with finding the best storage unit, at the cheapest price, nearest to their home and then cramming all of their belongings in the unit that they forget about one of the most important factors – a good lock. Next to insurance and security, a good lock is a huge factor in keeping your belongings safely locked in the unit. A good lock will deter potential criminals from entering your storage unit and will keep your possessions safe. There are several types of locks to choose from but your best bet is a disc lock as they are nearly unbreakable and affordable.