2 Questions to Ask When Renting a Self-Storage Unit
Many homeowners and apartment dwellers find that a self-storage unit is a good choice for clearing out some clutter around the house, and for storing items that might get easily damaged in a garage, damp basement, or spare room that guests often use. A self-storage unit might also be more affordable for storing a boat than a marina, and is safer for your boat than simply leaving it at the docks, in the water. No matter your needs for a self-storage unit, note a few questions you might want to ask about the rental unit and the property itself before you sign any rental paperwork!
Ask how to allow access for other people
Most self-storage properties have a gate that works with access codes, and you'll be assigned a code when you rent a unit. The unit itself is also typically locked with your own lock, and the property will not have a copy of your key. To allow someone else, such as a friend or family member, access to your unit, you typically only need to give them your access code and a copy of your key.
However, if you need to allow someone else access to your unit and they don't have a key to your lock, someone at the rental property may not be allowed to just cut your lock. Each property will have their own policies on this type of emergency; some properties might allow you to make a list of people who can access your unit in case of an emergency, and have you sign a form giving them permission to cut your lock when needed, and some properties might not remove your lock under any circumstances. Be sure you ask about this before renting, if you travel often or otherwise suspect you might need assistance from the front desk in allowing someone else to access your unit.
Ask about prorating
Never assume that a self-storage property will prorate the charges for a unit if you will ever need it for less than a full month. This can be especially important if you're using the unit for a short time while you move or are between residences, or if you often travel and might be delayed in returning to your unit to remove your items after your lease term is over. You might be charged a full month's rental even if you only need the unit for a few days, so ask about prorating and choose a rental property that offers the flexibility of charges that you need.