Storage Unit Mistakes

I recently wrote about some of the items I’ve found in storage units I’ve purchased that were in default. In today’s post I want to focus on some major mistakes people make with their storage units.

Mistake #1 – Letting a storage unit go into default. Most of the defaulted units sold in this area are now sold online. They are usually listed online for a couple of weeks, but prior to that the law requires that the storage company contact them well before the unit goes into default to tell them their unit will be sold unless they pay their bill.

Many times I’ll bid on a unit only to have it pulled from the sale on the day the sale is to be final. Sometimes it’s within the last hour of the sale before the renter satisfies the bill. It’s a little frustrating to spend time looking at pictures and bidding on the units, but at the same time I’m glad the owner isn’t losing his or her property.

What’s really mind-boggling is that they let the unit go into default in the first place! Some storage companies have significant fees that are added to the bill when a unit goes into default which also must be paid. If the renter didn’t have the money to keep the rent current, how does he or she now have the money to pay the extra fees as well as the rent? Those fees have to be an extra financial burden on someone who is struggling to pay the rent in the first place. Talk about wasting money!

Mistake #2 – Renting a unit that is larger than needed. In many of the pictures I see online of units being sold there may only be a small corner of the unit that actually has anything in it. I’m sure in some cases there was more in the unit than originally that has been removed. But, why is the renter still paying money for a unit larger than needed. Rent a smaller unit and save some money.

Mistake #3 – Renting a unit to store junk. I’ve bought very few storage units, and that is only is the past couple of years. Long time buyers will tell you that most of the items they find in units go straight to the dump. Filthy mattresses. Broken dishes. Broken furniture. Dirty clothes. I bought a unit once that was full of trash bags filled with dirty clothes that had been in there so long they were all molded together. The bags were as hard as rocks. Why would anyone spend good money to keep such trash?

Perhaps someone would say that I should not be so critical. People might be holding on to these things while they are looking for a place to live, and this is the best they have. When you see the amount of dirt and spiderwebs in many of these units you know they were not just rented a month of two ago. People have spent good money to store trash. They would have been better off to have taken those items to the dump and saved their money to replace them with items that are not broken and filthy.

My purpose for this post is not to criticize, but to encourage people to think about what they are doing when they rent a unit. I hate seeing people waste money who perhaps are struggling financially anyway. You might be far better off to take the trash to the dump and sell the other items at auction or at a flea market than to spend good money storing it.

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