What exactly is self storage? If you are thinking, “Well, it is where you rent space to store your stuff yourself,” you’re missing an important part of the equation. You see, when you rent self storage space, there’s a contract required, written by lawyers, and that makes the answer a bit more complex. The Self Storage Association (SSA), the business’s not-for-profit lobby organization, defines self-storage as “the term applied to facilities offering rent on a month-to-month basis where the tenant applies his lock and has sole access to his component.” That’s an important legal distinction because it protects the self storage facility from creating a state called bailment, whereby it would assume responsibility for the care, custody or control of a customer’s goods. Unlike a dry cleaner, for instance, who might be responsible for burning a hole in that cashmere sweater you dropped off, the self storage facility does not have any duty for the care of your stuff, other than what’s stipulated in the rental contract. Instead, you’re required to supply proof of insurance (or purchase it from the facility) before you can rent the storage unit. In other words, you’re in charge of the care of your own stuff. And once you have signed the contract, the storage facility owners will not enter your unit unless they have extremely great (as in legally defensible) reason to believe you are violating the conditions, which will stipulate materials you can’t store and actions you can not conduct from the rental unit. http://www.selfstoragecentersofamerica.com/ Okay, legal items out of the way. The fundamental function of self storage would be to offer folks a protected place to store properties they don’t have room for where they live or work, or that they don’t want on a daily basis. Most facilities self storage units offer a variety of sizes from 5 feet by 5 feet up to 10 feet by 30 feet. The more space you demand, the more rent you pay. Contracts are commonly month-to-month. The better facilities feature climate-controlled units that can keep a constant temperature and humidity. SSA says other popular attributes include:
- Outdoor parking for storing RVs and boats
- Automatic entry gates with keypad-computerized access
- Surveillance cameras and tracking stations
- Alarms on individual storage components
- Drive-up loading docks with direct access to outdoor units
- Elevators for multi-storied facilities
- Complimentary use of dollies and furniture carts
- Some self storage facilities, like Uncle Bob’s, additionally offer customers complimentary use of moving vans with the rent.
A Growing Business
While there have always been folks or businesses willing to lease space to others for temporary storage, America’s first commercially viable storage operation was not founded until the early 1900s, by Martin Bekins. His firm served the storage needs of families who were moving west and finally became the well known Bekins Moving & Storage Company. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the modern self storage industry as we know it today came into being, based on a New York Times article by Jon Mooallem. For the two decades that followed, Mooallem writes, “storage remained a low profile industry… For the most part, storage units were meant to temporarily combine the possessions of those in transition: moving, marrying or divorcing, or coping with a death in the family.” Not much has changed since then, except we Americans have a tendency to do more moving, wedding, divorcing and dealing inherited stuff than ever before. Therefore, the self storage business has grown to satisfy the demand. Now you can locate self storage facilities all over America – about 50,000 of them. SSA’s fact sheet maintains there are 78 square miles of rentable storage space in the United States, or 7.3 square feet of self storage space for every man, woman and child in the country. They are in places that range from the conventional industrial corridors to areas zoned for retail and even multi-family residential neighborhoods. SSA’s Opening to Self Storage says these newer, third-generation self storage facilities “stress aesthetics in construction, designed to blend in with the nature of the neighborhoods they serve.” Many even contain attractive landscaping. The goal, based on SSA, is “creating a steady, secure, upscale picture that develops a powerful understanding of trust among local consumers.” Like many other companies, self storage has come to comprehend the relevance image plays in conveying quality and worth.
Who’s Leasing Self Storage Units?
So who’s using all these self storage units? A great deal of them are rented by people. According to SSA, one out of every 10 homes in the nation leases a self storage unit, while businesses account for 30 percent of self storage customers. Members of the military are large consumers, also. SSA estimates that 4 percent of the nation’s self storage components are leased by military personnel. Based on the SSA fact sheet, “in communities next to U.S. military bases, military occupancy can be from 20 percent to 95 percent of all rented units.”
What Are We Keeping?
It would be simpler to say what we aren’t storing. Individuals set everything in self storage from holiday decorations to seasonal clothing, sporting equipment, furniture and vehicles. Companies use self storage for files, extra office equipment and furniture, tools, stock, and supplies. Unless it violates the terms of the facility (ammo, perishable items and live animals are a number of of the typically limited things), it can and is being stored. For the best storage units in Tampa FL call Self Storage Units of America today!