What is self storage? If you are thinking, “Well, it’s where you rent space to keep your stuff yourself,” you’re missing an significant part the equation. You see, when you rent self storage space, there’s a contract involved, written by attorneys, and that makes the answer a bit more complicated. The Self Storage Association (SSA), the sector’s not for profit lobby organization, defines self-storage as “the term applied to facilities offering rental on a month-to-month basis where the tenant applies his lock and has sole access to his component.” That is an important legal distinction because it protects the self storage facility from creating a condition called bailment, whereby it’d assume responsibility for the care, custody or control of a customer’s goods.
Unlike a dry cleaner, for instance, who might be liable for burning a hole in that cashmere sweater you dropped off, the self storage facility has no responsibility for the care of your stuff, other than what’s stipulated in the rental contract. Instead, you’re required to supply proof of insurance (or buy it from the facility) before you can rent the storage unit. To put it differently, you are in charge of the care of your own stuff. And once you have signed the contract, the storage facility owners will not enter your unit unless they’ve really great (as in legally defensible) reason to believe you are breaking the conditions, which will stipulate materials you can not keep and activities you can’t conduct from the rental unit. http://www.selfstoragecentersofamerica.com/
Okay, legal items out of the way. The basic function of self storage is to offer individuals a protected place to store possessions they do not have room for where they live or work, or that they do not need on a daily basis. Most facilities self storage units offer a range of sizes from 5 feet by 5 feet up to 10 feet by 30 feet. The more space you require, the more rent you pay. Contracts are typically month-to-month. The better facilities feature climate-controlled units that can maintain a steady temperature and humidity. SSA says other popular features include:
- Outside parking for storing RVs and boats
- Automatic entry gates with keypad-computerized access
- Surveillance cameras and monitoring stations
- Alarms on individual storage components
- Drive-up loading docks with direct access to outdoor units
- Lifts for multi storied facilities
- Complimentary use of dollies and furniture carts
- Some self storage facilities, such as Uncle Bob’s, also offer customers complimentary use of moving vans with the rent.
A Growing Business
While there have always been people or businesses willing to lease space to others for temporary storage, America’s first commercially feasible storage operation was not founded until the early 1900s, by Martin Bekins. His company served the storage needs of families who were moving west and eventually became the well known Bekins Moving & Storage Company. It was only when the 1960s that the modern self storage industry as we know it today came into being, according to a New York Times article by Jon Mooallem. For both decades that followed, Mooallem writes, “storage remained a low profile business… For the most part, storage units were meant to temporarily absorb the properties of those in transition: going, marrying or divorcing, or coping with a death in the family.”
Not much has changed since then, except we Americans tend to do more moving, marrying, divorcing and dealing inherited stuff than ever before. Therefore, the self storage business has grown to fulfill the demand.
Now you can locate self storage facilities all over America – about 50,000 of them. SSA’s fact sheet maintains there are 78 square miles of rentable storage space in the United States, or 7.3 square feet of self storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation.
They are in locations that range from the conventional industrial corridors to areas zoned for retail and even multi-family residential neighborhoods. SSA’s Opening to Self Storage says these newer, third-generation self storage facilities “accentuate aesthetics in construction, designed to blend in with the nature of the neighborhoods they serve.” Many even contain attractive landscaping. The aim, according to SSA, is “creating a stable, safe, upscale image that develops a strong perception of trust among local consumers.” Like many other businesses, self storage has come to comprehend the importance picture plays in conveying quality and value.
Who is Leasing Self Storage Units?
So who’s using all these self storage units? A great deal are rented by people. Based on SSA, one out of every 10 homes in the country lets a self storage unit, while companies account for 30 percent of self storage customers. Members of the military are large consumers, also. SSA estimates that 4 percent of the nation’s self storage units are leased by military personnel. Based on the SSA fact sheet, “in communities adjacent to U.S. military bases, military occupancy can be from 20 percent to 95 percent of all leased units.”
What Are We Keeping?
It’d be simpler to say what we aren’t storing. Individuals set everything in self storage from holiday decorations to seasonal clothing, sport equipment, furniture and vehicles. Companies use self storage for documents, excessive office equipment and furniture, tools, inventory, and materials. Unless it violates the terms of the facility (ammo, perishable things and live creatures are a couple of of the typically restricted things), it can and is being stored. For secure storage units in Brandon FL call Self Storage Centers of America.