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Renting Storage Space For Your Business? 2 Tips That Can Save You A World Of Hassle

by Bruce Lawson

When companies snag truckloads of stock for great prices or hang onto older, but still-functional equipment, they often find themselves without anywhere to store it. Fortunately, self-storage facilities offer affordable, easily accessible space, which is probably why business inventory accounts for about 30% of all storage occupancy. If you are thinking about renting a storage unit for your company, follow these two tips to avoid unnecessary frustration.    

1: List the Business Name in the Contract

When you rent a storage unit for your business, you will be required to sign a rental agreement and contract. Oftentimes, business owners decide to put units in their own names because they mistakenly think that it will make things easier. Unfortunately, because of the way contracts are designed, this error in judgment can cause all kinds of problems.  

Rental paperwork serves two purposes. First, they are used to prove that the tenant agreed to all of the terms and conditions of using the storage space. Second, they indicate who the main tenant on the contract is, along with all of their personal information and preferred communication preference.

Because these clauses are essential for a legally binding storage unit contract, the facility is not allowed to give out information to anyone other than the main tenant listed in the rental agreement. Failing to do so would open the facility up to a slew of liabilities. For example, if a storage manager gave out your gate code and unit information to a stranger and your unit was robbed, the facility could get into legal trouble for aiding and abetting a burglary.

Although these regulations are created to keep units secure, they can cause a lot of trouble for business owners who send workers to retrieve items from storage. If forgetful workers forget gate codes or unit locations, chances are that the storage office will direct them to the main tenant, and refuse to give them any information pertaining to the unit.

To avoid extra trips and frustrated employees, list your business name on the storage unit contract. Most rental agreements have areas that allow people to list several agents for their company, so that storage clerks can share information with more than one person. Make sure to update your rental agreement if your business name changes or if you lose employees.

2: Understand Facility Guidelines

If you are a busy business owner, you might try to rush through storage rental paperwork so that you can get on with your day. Unfortunately, not paying attention to facility rules can cause problems during your day-to-day storage usage. Here are a few common guidelines that could directly affect your business.

  • Access Hours: If you plan to use your storage unit to house equipment, vehicles, or inventory, you need to pay attention to the facility access hours. Some storage businesses only allow access during business hours and fine people who use units when they aren't supposed to. If you have a business that operates in the early morning or late evening, you might need to request permanent extended access so that you can operate normally. 
  • Allowable Materials: Do you run a pest control or lawn maintenance company? If you do, you might be thinking about storing tanks of pesticides or fuel for your equipment. Unfortunately, most facilities prohibit the storage of dangerous or flammable chemicals. Check with storage managers to ask about allowable materials before you rent a space.
  • Passive Storage Guidelines: To limit facility liability, most storage businesses allow for passive storage only. This means that you can't use storage units for active work purposes, like fixing cars, playing music, or operating woodworking equipment. If you know that you want to work inside of your unit, check with the facility to make sure that you won't be fined or evicted for doing so.

Taking the time to read through your storage agreement will help you to avoid breaking the rules, while letting on-site storage managers know what to expect from you and your employees.

Avoiding storage-related hassles can keep your business operating smoothly, while making things easier for on-site storage unit managers.