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BBB Offers Tips to Avoid Self-Storage Facility Scams

Thursday, August 09, 2018

 

Are you looking for a place to store your prized possessions or antique furniture that won’t it in your house? 

“According to a Self Storage Association survey, there are more self-storage units in the US than there are McDonald’s and Starbucks combined. In our service area, the most popular storage unit size is a 5x10 unit which on average represents 35% of all booked units. The large demand for storage units leads to endless opportunities for investors and businesses, but it also allows for more people to be scammed by untrustworthy operators,” says the Better Business Bureau.

BBB offers tips to avoid scams:

  • Hidden or Additional Charges: This is the most common scam. The owner knows you’ve just moved everything in and probably don’t want to move it all out. There may be additional charges for lock rental, insurance, late fees, utilities and security. 
  • Neither Clean nor Secure: All businesses advertise that they’re secure and clean, but most fall short. Incidents could include: bug/animals infestations, leaking roofs, broken surveillance systems, unmanned entrances and poor security of visitors.
  • Complicity in Theft: Through negligence or direct involvement, operators have been known to play a part in the theft of contents from locked units.
  • Hiding in the Small Print: Read the fine print to look for all sorts of conditions relating to responsibility of your possessions, amount of notice for raising rent, and terms under which you’re deemed to have defaulted.
  • Selling Your Stuff For Peanuts: In the case a default, the owner is probably entitled to enter and auction off the contents. Some owners have made themselves inaccessible to receive payment, to force renters into default. 
 

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