We recommend a sturdy, heavy padlock with keys. A two-inch standard padlock is a good size and will fit the latch on the unit’s door. Anything smaller than two inches would not be appropriate. Anything larger than two inches may fit the standard industry latch, but you need to be careful because some will not go through the latch. A lock with a shorter shank is better than a lock with a long shank. Police departments nationwide recommend the “round” or “disc” lock because of the way in which that lock attaches to the latch. We sell both types of locks in our office.
Some larger units (10×20, 10×25, 10×30) may have a door on each end of their lengths. That will necessitate your having two locks, one on each door. Two doors make it easier to move into the unit. Two doors also make it easier to get to your belongings once you have packed the unit full. In our office, we sell packets of locks keyed-alike, if you have more than one door.
Where will I get the lock I put on my unit?
Many of your local home improvement stores sell good locks as do the local super centers, etc. Your facility office carries a good supply of appropriate locks for one-stop-shopping customer convenience. Purchasing the lock from your facility’s office ensures that the lock will fit the latch on your door. Also, if you have problems with the lock, you can return it to the facility for an on-the-spot replacement.
What happens if I lose the keys to my lock?
For your peace of mind, the office does not keep a copy of your key, even if you purchased the lock from your facility’s office. You have the only keys, therefore you control who comes and goes through your space. If you lose your keys, the office may be able to help you remove the lock from the unit latch, but be prepared to pay some type of service charge – the same way you would pay a locksmith to perform this service.
What happens if I forget that my things are in storage?
Most likely, during any given 30-day period, you will receive 1-2 letters and 1-2 phone calls reminding you. Always be sure to notify the office of any changes in address or phone numbers, so that you will be contacted in the event that you forget.
What type door will my storage space have?
For a small unit (5×5, 5×10, 5×15), the door will be about the size of the front door to your house or apartment, with the exception that it will probably roll up and down, not swing to the left or right. The width of this door by industry standards is usually about 43 inches. For a larger unit (10×10, 10×15, 10×20, etc.), the door by industry standards is about 102 inches (8.5 ft.). The door will usually roll up in a coil at the top of the space opening, rather than fit flat against the ceiling like your garage door does. The height of the opening is usually 79 inches (6.58ft).
How tall is the ceiling?
Once you get past the doorway opening into the storage space, standard industry ceiling height is about 8.5 ft. In a climate-controlled unit, the ceiling height may be higher to accommodate the ductwork needed to carry the heated/cooled air.
Why does my regular space (not climate) have insulation across the top of the space?
The insulation helps to keep the unit a little cooler in the heat and a little warmer in the cold, just like it does in your house. In addition, there will be a small space at the top of the unit, by industry standards, to allow for airflow, so that humidity does not build up in the space.
What about insurance? Will I be required to purchase insurance for my stored items?
Insurance is not a requirement to store, but it is very important. You will be offered an insurance brochure when you sign up for a storage space at our facility. If you are not offered this brochure, be sure to let the manager know that you expect to receive a $5 credit on your next month’s rent. When you rent a storage space, you are renting the space the same way that you would rent a house or an apartment. When you rent, you have to provide your own insurance. Check first with any policies that you currently have in effect and see if they will cover your things while in storage. Next, ask your insurance agent what he/she can offer you in the way of insurance while your things are in storage. Someone who knows you and your situation may be able to insure your belongings more economically. Our insurance brochure allows you to make your decision about insurance in the privacy of your own home. You contact the insurance company directly and decide how much coverage you would like. The insurance can be started and stopped at any time. You are in control.
Will I need to cover my furniture while it is in storage?
We suggest that you do. Even in a climate-controlled space, things may get a little dusty. Your furniture gets dusty in your own home, but you are there to dust weekly. In our office, we sell special coverings for mattresses and boxsprings, sofas, chairs, etc. The mattress covers work well for covering many other large items, also. See Boxes and Supplies for the items we carry.
What does it mean when a facility has a resident manager as opposed to an “on-site” manager?
A resident manager lives on the property. They usually have a small apartment furnished by the owners. Even though they may live on the property, they are not required to sit and monitor the comings and goings through the gates at the facility, to monitor the TV cameras, or to open the office after hours. Most resident managers view their apartment as their home and many do not make themselves available after hours. They feel entitled to “a life” just as their tenants do.
I went by the office and there was a sign on the door saying, “Left at 12:45. Back at 1:00.” Why?
Occasionally, both resident and on-site managers have to leave the office to show a prospective tenant a unit, to go to lunch, or maybe to go to the bank or post office. During those times you may be asked to leave a message, unless the calls are forwarded to someone else to answer while the manager is out. You may want to call the office before going by, just to make sure that you will not be arriving during lunch time, etc.An “on-site” manager means that during normal business hours you can expect to find someone manning the office and answering your phone call. You should not expect to “Dial 1 for customer service” and end up talking to “Joe” in Kalamazoo.
Do I have to sign a multiple-month lease?
No. Our storage contracts are monthly contracts (minimum one-month lease). However, we do offer a prepaid discount of one free month for every 6 pre-paid months (i.e. pay 6 months and get the 7th free, pay 12 months and get the 13th-14th month free, etc.). However, keep in mind that there are no refunds (only credit towards future rentals) for pre-paid rent if you vacate before your paid-through date.
Will I need to execute a new rental contract once my initial contract expires?
No. Our storage contracts are monthly contracts that renew automatically on the first of each month so long as your items remain in storage and/or the unit is locked.
What do I need to do when I no longer need the storage space?
Just give the office at least a 7-day notice that you will be vacating so they know that your unit will become available to others who are in need of it. When vacating, be sure that absolutely everything is removed from the unit, leave nothing anywhere on the property, and remove your lock. If these conditions are not met, your contract will remain in effect and/or additional charges may be imposed. Before paying for the month during which you will vacate, determine by what day the unit will be vacated. If you vacate between the 1st and 15th of the month, we will allow a half-month payment as a courtesy in lieu of the full monthly payment. If you vacate any time after the 15th, the full month’s rent will be due as normal. Keep in mind that we do not refund rent payments once they are made.