When payments aren't made on mini storage units, the storage company is free to sell their contents to cover the owed fees and free up the unit. Therefore, if you rent a mini storage unit, it's important to make sure that your bill is always paid in a timely fashion. If you pay your unit's bill via credit card, make sure your storage company has your new credit card information when your current card expires. If you don't call them with the updated information, your account could default -- and your possessions could be sold.
Unpaid Storage Units
Delinquent self-storage accounts go through four phases. The specific timeline that your storage facility follows will depend on the laws of the state it's in. SpareFoot lists the general phases that your account will go through if you fail to make a payment:
your account will default between five and 30 days after your bill was due
the storage company will try to notify you via mail or email that your account is delinquent
the storage company will post a public notice online or in local papers about your account
the items in your unit may be auctioned off between 30 and 90 days after your account became delinquent
Should you pay your balance in full, including any applicable late fees, your account will go back into good standing, and the process will be halted. It's preferable to avoid this process altogether, though.
Expired Credit Cards
It's easy to overlook your mini storage unit payment. Not only are mini storage unit payments small, because the units themselves are small, but they also are made infrequently. You might only pay the storage company once a month, quarter or year, and the amount charged to your card may only be a few dollars. Among all of your charges, missing a small payment like this is a simple mistake that anyone could make.
If you fail to update your payment information, however, your mini storage unit's contents could be auctioned off. Depending on the state your unit is in, the auction could be held in just a month after your old card's payment is declined.
If you have a mini storage unit that you pay automatically each month, quarter or year, take a few minutes to review your payment information. Look at the card you use, and mark on a calendar when that card expires. Once you get a new card, the note on your calendar will remind you to update your payment information so that your account remains in good standing.