Your self-storage unit works like an extra attic or second basement, but sometimes it’s easy to forget recurring payments; other times, we find ourselves drowning in bills and expenses. Managing finances and making ends meet during particularly tough times is no easy feat, and unfortunately for services like storage unit rentals, extended defaults can result in the loss of property.
The last thing you need on top of missed payments and extra charges on your self-storage account is losing the furniture, electronics, photos, documents, and other items in your storage unit. Like residential properties that are foreclosed or other property that are repossessed by sellers or loan companies, items left in unpaid or beyond overdue self-storage units can be seized and auctioned off to recoup the cost of missed payments. But trust us — that’s the last thing that self-storage companies want, too.
Dealing with outstanding debt is never easy, but with the right prevention and communication with your self-storage provider, there’s no reason that you should lose your items in storage. Find out how:
Keep Track of Due Dates
Like most of your recurring bill payments, self-storage rent is due every month, usually on the 1st. Unfortunately, this can get tricky when you’re short on cash or simply don’t have enough time to stay on top of all your commitments.
A missed payment can easily happen when you don’t have time to drop off payments at the office or forget to log on to your online banking account to make a manual transfer. Luckily, all of that is changing with pre-authorized payment options. Connected to your debit or credit card, self-storage payments can be automatically charged to your account when rent is due so you won’t have to pay manually every month. This option can be set indefinitely, or according to a fixed number of months if you know how long you need a self-storage unit for. Prepayments also provide generous discounts, so be sure to ask about all your options to save money.
Understand Late Fees
We’ve all been there — the expenses pile up, and significant bill payments like a mortgage and car insurance are often the number one priority. Unfortunately, times like these often lead to defaulting on other payments, including your self-storage unit. To recoup losses, storage companies often charge late fees if the account balance remains unpaid after 10 business days. Your access code may be suspended until the balance is settled in full.
In extreme cases wherein the balance remains unpaid for an entire month, additional late fees may be charged, along with an auction fee. By then, management may also cut the lock to your self-storage unit and reseal it to restrict access. With no functioning access code and a sealed unit, you run the risk of losing the items stored inside and even retrieving them in the future.
While this scenario sounds scary, it’s important to know that you have options available. Storage companies often charge late fees and letting these pile-up results in owing a large accumulated balance. The last thing you need is a lump-sum payment putting a dent in your finances. Make sure that you know your options, such as the possibility of arranging for smaller, frequent payments to settle the balance sooner, rather than risk losing the valuables inside your self-storage unit altogether.
Keep in mind that these special arrangements must be made directly with the Property Manager. Do not hesitate to reach out as soon as you anticipate that you won’t be able to make a monthly payment. Reaching out sooner allows the storage company to smooth things over quickly and help you ensure the continued use of a self-storage unit and the safety of your valuables inside.
Stay In Contact With Your Self-Storage Provider
It’s important to keep in mind that communication is key. If you’re drowning in bills and quickly burning through paychecks and even savings, it’s normal to feel like you’re better off shutting down and running away from obligations. But for self-storage units, this means running the risk of losing important documents, valuable artworks in storage, prized collections, and memories captured in photos. Luckily, all it takes is maintaining open communication lines to prevent this from happening.
Self-storage providers understand the effect of dire circumstances and emergencies on your finances, resulting in late or missed rent payments. While it is your responsibility as a tenant to make timely payments and settle any remaining balance on time, notifying your storage provider of any delay can go a long way.
Storage providers try to exhaust all possible means of contacting you in case a payment is late or missed. They will ensure that the matter is communicated with you, so you are informed of any problems with your account. As well, they will also reach out to alternate contacts specified in your lease in the event of an emergency that prevents you from managing your account. At the end of the day, the goal is to work out an agreement for settling any balance and ensuring continued use of your self-storage unit.
Keep Your Information Updated
The best way to keep open communication lines with your self-storage provider starts with ensuring that your contact information is current and up-to-date. Like any service provider that you have an account with, make sure that any new phone number, email address, and mailing address is updated in your self-storage account, so the company can reach out to you and resolve any issues right away. After all, the only way to keep your valuables intact in a self-storage unit is to stay in contact with the company and communicate the reason for any issue or delay that keeps you from paying the rent on time.
Running late on a payment or can’t make it altogether? Don’t lose valuables in your self-storage unit. Jiffy Self-Storage is dedicated to helping customers understand late fees and work out contingency arrangements to prevent losing their most valued possessions. Call us at 416-745-4339 or contact us here today.