Seven Things Everyone Should Know Before Renting Self-Storage

Climate Control

Items that may be susceptible to temperature extremes and humidity, such as electronics, appliances, clothes, books, photos, and valuable or antique furniture should be stored in climate control units. If you decide to use non climate control storage or if it is unavailable, you might want to make certain that your unit has insulated ceilings to prevent condensation and possible damage to your valuables.

Rent

Some operators will move you in at a low rate only to raise the rent a few months later. Before you decide to rent a unit, ask the manager to explain the procedure for raising rents and how often it has been raised in the past.

Water Damage

If at all possible, visit the storage facility the day after a rain storm and ask to see the actual unit you would be renting. Check for puddles on the floor or water stains on the walls. Since most facilities would not be responsible for water damage, this tip could save you money in the long run.

Space

Decide what type of access you will need, then decide what size space you require. Most people rent more space than necessary. Believe it or not, a one bedroom apartment around 1,000 square feet generally requires a 10’ x 10’ unit. You can stand furniture on end and stack boxes on top of other items to save space.

Charges and Fees

Many facilities still charge a security deposit. Be sure to ask if there are any hidden charges in addition to the rental rate you were quoted. Ask if they accept credit cards or provide for on-line bill payments. Automatic credit card payments eliminate late fees.

Insurance

It is always wise to insure the goods you are storing. Storage insurance is usually available when you rent, but before you sign up check with your agent. Quite often, your homeowner or renter’s policy will cover you at no extra cost if your facility is fenced and has security cameras.

Security

Security and access are important. You want a facility that is secure yet accessible to you when you need it. Are there security cameras? If all units are indoors, are the doors locked at certain times? Will your access ever be limited? Ask the manager what security measures are in place to protect your belongings.