No matter how good your intentions, sometimes life throws curve-balls that can derail you financially. Even though you make every effort to stay within budget, things happen. When you’re trying to juggle mortgage payments, car loans, and utility bills, it’s easy to forget about the items you’ve put in storage.
So what happens when you miss a rental payment? Apart from blemishing your credit score, the storage operator may charge you late penalties. These fees could add up to nearly $65 per month on top of the rent you already owe. That’s why we’ve come up with some tips on how to manage your overdue account. So, follow our advice and avoid losing all your belongings!
Pre-Authorized Payment Plans
We all know getting the rent in on time can be a hassle. But because it’s always due at the same time each month, it’s helpful to take advantage of a pre-authorized payment plan. Ask your storage operator if they accept pre-authorized debit or credit. Once you set it up, you’ll never have to think about it again. And if you know you’ll need your storage unit for a predetermined set of time, ask if you can pay for the entire period in advance. Some facilities will even offer you a discount for prepayment.
Troubleshooting Missed Payments
So what happens if you’ve missed an entire payment? Many storage operators will be understanding if it’s a one-time occurrence. The most they’ll do is slap on a late fee to your existing rent and ask when you’ll pay up. When speaking to the company, avoid being confrontational. Instead, remain humble and be honest as to why you missed this month’s payment. After all, storage reps are human too. Everyone makes mistakes and some things in life can be out of our control, even finances. The person on the other end will most likely be understanding and offer you another chance.
If, however, missed payments are a frequent occurrence, you could find yourself in a trickier situation. Storage operators have several options when it comes to dealing with accounts that have gone into default. When you constantly miss rental payments, the facility can shut you out of your storage unit. The management will change the locks and restrict you from accessing your belongings until you make a payment. The easiest way to deal with this situation is to pay the outstanding rent and any penalties. But, let’s say you don’t have the funds necessary to bring your account back to good standing. What happens then?
Avoiding an Auction
Auctioning off your belongings is an absolute last resort for the storage facility. Although it may seem harsh, the operator is simply trying to recoup those rental payments by selling off whatever’s left in the unit. But auctions are a lot of work — and there’s not much profit to be made either. A self-storage company would much rather reach an agreement with the customer than organize an auction. So you may find yourself getting a lot of calls on how to rectify the situation. Here are a few tips on dealing with the storage operator:
- Do not allow late fees to accumulate by ignoring the situation
- If you can’t afford one lump sum payment, ask if you can make smaller, more frequent payments to catch up
- The storage company has the upper hand; avoid being arrogant or risk losing all your valuables
If you’re unable to reach an agreement, the storage operator may have no choice but to auction off your goods. Your credit score will also take a hit, affecting any future applications you put in for a mortgage, car loan, or line of credit.
Stay in Touch
One of the best ways to avoid losing your belongings is to maintain communication with the storage facility. Should you foresee missing next month’s payment, inform management as soon as possible. By staying honest and showing goodwill, your chances are better that the storage operator will understand the circumstances. Ignoring phone calls and going silent will only irritate the company, forcing them to take action against you. Your stuff is important to you, so stay ahead of the game and don’t risk losing the things that matter most.
For more information about our storage options, or to receive a quote based on your storage needs, call Jiffy Self Storage at 416-74-JIFFY or contact us here.