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Let’s Talk Self-Storage!

Published on January 7th, 2016

self-storage

self-storage

Whether you require self-storage due to a life change, career change, or simply because you need more space–the self storage jargon within a facility’s contract and rules can be confusing. Aaron Bros. would like to take this time to define some of the terms we use quite often at our facilities and within the self-storage industry.

Administration Fee–Self-storage facilities will often charge a one time administration fee upon moving in to offset the cost of processing paperwork for new tenants. This may also serve as a non-refundable deposit.

Currently, Aaron Bros. Self-Storage facilities charge a one time $10 administration fee that can be waived for those tenants who sign up for automatic monthly payments.

Authorized Access–Upon moving in, your self-storage facility will require you to fill out who–if anyone else–has permission to access your storage unit, whether you are present or not. This person, if applicable, may also serve as an alternative point of contact on the account.

Under no circumstances do we at Aaron Bros. allow anyone access to a storage unit unless the tenant on the contract grants permission first.

Climate Control–Some facilities have units where the internal temperature is controlled in an effort to avoid too low or too high of an internal temperature. Usually, climate controlled units are kept warmer in the winter months and cooler in the summer months. This is an ideal unit for someone storing sensitive items such as art, or anything else that can be compromised by changes in temperature or humidity levels.

Our facilities are not currently climate controlled; however, stay at a reasonable temperature due to the concrete and steel that was used during the time of construction.

Commercial Storage–Commercial storage is another word for storage utilized by businesses. This is a perfect solution for businesses who require additional space but do not want to lease expensive retail space. Large units such as 10×15, 10×20, and 20×20 are ideal spaces for commercial storage.

Aaron Bros. proudly provides commercial storage for local museums, universities, restaurants, community centers, contractors, and furniture companies.

Drive-up Unit–These storage units are accessible by car and allow for easy loading and unloading for tenants.

Our storage units are not specifically “drive-up units,” however; are accessible either by indoor loading docks or freight elevators. Specifically, our 83rd & Halsted Self Storage and South Shore Self Storage allow “drive-in” access.

Dumping Fee–Most facilities will charge tenants to throw away large items such as mattresses, couches, etc. to off-set the cost of disposal services.

If the items are approved by management, Aaron Bros. currently charges $25 to dispose of large items/furniture for our tenants.

Hazardous Material–Some items are considered too dangerous to store and are therefore banned from most self-storage facilities. Items considered as hazardous materials usually include: explosive material, chemicals, fireworks, gasoline, and illegal substances.

Our facilities do not inventory the items that tenants chose to store, but we do ask and trust that nothing deemed dangerous or a hazard to our staff or other tenants be placed within storage. If any of these items are found within a tenant’s unit that tenant will be evicted immediately.

Insurance–Self-storage facilities are not responsible for the contents of your locker. Reputable facilities should offer their tenants insurance for the goods being stored through a third party insurance agent at an affordable rate. Self-storage insurance usually covers theft, water leaks, and vermin, among other threats. There are some self-storage facilities that make insurance mandatory for all tenants. Some homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers storage facilities so be sure to check with your local agent since you may already be covered without acquiring additional costs.

Aaron Bros. facilities are partnered with Safestor as our third party insurance provider. For more information, click here.

Late Fee–Like most services rendered, if a bill is not paid on time, self-storage companies will charge a tenant a late fee as a penalty for not paying in a timely fashion. This can be a one time fee or fees that accumulate until the bill is paid in full. This fee is really meant to encourage storage tenants to pay on time, every month.

Our storage facilities charge one monthly late fee of $20 which posts on the 11th of every month if a tenant’s bill is outstanding.

Lien–A lien is defined as “a right to keep possession of property belonging to another person until a debt owed by that person is discharged.” This is an icky part of the self-storage industry but an important term to define. If a tenant defaults from paying their rent for more than a specified amount of time deemed appropriate by the individual storage facility, a lien will be enforced on the storage unit and the process of removing the items from the property will begin.

Tenants SHOULD ALWAYS receive legal notification in the form of a certified letter and also be notified publically (in most cases by a newspaper legal ad that runs for two consecutive weeks.) Most facilities will want to work with a tenant to clear up the debt owed and lien laws protect both the facility and said tenant.

Lien Fee–If a tenant goes into lien, storage facilities will charge a fee to the tenant to cover the cost of legally notifying the tenant of the lien. This fee normally covers the cost of certified mail and the fee associated with publishing the lien notice in a local paper for two consecutive weeks.

Currently, our facilities charge $125 as a lien fee. Tenants can make sure to stay out of lien by paying on time, every month.

Locker–Locker is another term for a storage unit. You may also hear the word “bin” or “space” being thrown around as well too.

It’s just a matter of preference, like tomato or tomahto…let’s call the whole thing off!!!

Month-to-Month Lease–A month-to-month lease is common practice for self-storage facilities and just means that a tenant will pay for storage month-to-month as needed and is not liable or obligated to stay at the facility for any amount of time. Month-to-month contracts typically begin when payment is made upon moving in and then each month after until the tenant decides to vacate the facility.

All of our facilities are month-to-month and our tenants are free to stay with us for as little or as long as they deem necessary.

Perishable/Prohibited Items–Perishable and prohibited items fall in the category with hazardous materials. Specifically, perishable items would be anything that can potentially spoil such as food or any living thing! Food– particularly open food–will invite pest into your unit and the facility and are therefore deemed prohibited.

If you have unwanted canned goods, our locations at Hyde Park and at 83rd & Halsted act as a donation center for the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) and will gladly accept your donations!

Pro-rated Rent–As a customer courtesy, some self-storage facilities will pro-rate a tenant’s rent upon move-in, especially for those who move in after the first of the month. This frees the new tenant of being financially responsible for days of the month that they are not occupying a unit.

Aaron Bros. always pro-rates, whether it is for your first partial month, or for your first full month storing with us.

Rent–This is the payment due every month for the storage unit. Facilities will deem a due date and the tenant is responsible to pay the agreed upon rent.

Our facilities post rent on the 1st of every month for all new and existing tenants.

Rental Agreement–A rental agreement serves as a lease between the tenant and self-storage company. It is common practice to review and sign the information with your Facility Manager. The information within the rental agreement usually includes but is not limited too: unit size, rate being charged, possible additional fees, access information and authorization, insurance inclusion or waiver, and the facility’s rules and regulations.

Upon moving into an Aaron Bros.’ facility, reviewing our rental agreement is mandatory. We find that it takes about 10 minutes to go over tenant expectations but it’s a great way for us to meet our new tenants and answer any questions or concerns that may come up.

Residential Storage–Residential storage is storage for personal use. Storage unit sizes come in a variety of sizes from smaller units for boxes and seasonal items (5×5) to larger units intended to fit whole rooms full of furniture (10×15). Most self-storage companies cater to individualized, residential self-storage.

Whatever you require storage for, we have the right size for all your residential needs.

Self-Storage–Self-storage is the service of storing your goods yourself at a local facility. Self-storage essentially leases a specific unit to an individual or company for a duration of time. Statistically, individuals tend to store for at least one year and tend to stay within a 5-10 mile radius of their home.

If you follow Aaron Bros. at all you know our motto is We Move Chicago! Well…We Store Chicago too with four locations on Chicago’s Southside.

Tenant–This is the individual or company who is utilizing the storage unit. In most cases, the tenant listed is the one who is financially responsible for the storage unit.

Being an independent, family owned business comes with many perks but we find our favorite one is the friendly environment we have that allows us to get to know our tenants.

 

 

 

 

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