Chances are if you’re renting a self-storage unit, you signed a lease agreement. Not everyone reads the fine print of their lease before they sign. Today we’re going to inform you about the ins and outs of what to look for when you sign that lease agreement.
The Importance of A Lease Agreement
A lease agreement is an important part of any rental unit, whether a 2×2 storage unit or a 15×30 climate-controlled unit. Lease agreements ensure equal protection of both parties involved and lay out the rights and responsibilities of each party. Be sure you understand the terms and conditions and ask questions. Once the lease agreement is signed, it is considered a binding legal document, and you will be held to the terms of the lease.
Most lease agreements will clearly state the lease terms. This is the start and end date of the rental unit. Typically possession changes hands upon payment of the unit and remains in the renter’s possession until the lease expires or is terminated.
A solid lease agreement will state clearly the payment due date. The industry standard allows for a five-day grace period for late payments. The rental facility reserves the right to charge a late fee. Pay special attention to these dates. Many facilities use automatic recurring payments (auto-debits), which help renters avoid late fees. Lease agreements usually include an early termination clause. This is important if you sign a year contract but can’t continue to rent the unit after six months. What happens? Are you responsible for paying out the rest of the lease? Do they allow for 30 notice with no penalty? These are all critical questions to ask before you sign your lease.
Each facility has limitations regarding storage items. Most commercial leases include clauses specifying the use of the storage unit. If you have non-typical items, read the fine print. Every lease should lay out the hours of operation and who to contact in an emergency.
In every lease, there is a paragraph or two labeled miscellaneous. Look that over carefully. It will disclose any hidden fees that you may encounter. For instance, what happens if you lose your key and the lock needs to be cut off. This is the portion of the contract that will state all those fees. Another fee most renters don’t think about is what happens if the unit gets abandoned? The unit contents could end up on the popular show Storage Wars. Most people don’t realize that there is a fee tacked on to the account for the auction cost.
This part of the lease refers to how you are legally required to inform the storage facility management of any changes to your information. This includes but is not limited to a change of address, phone number, payment information, or who is financially responsible for the rent on the unit. Many rental units require 30 days written notice of any changes. Using email is typically acceptable.
This portion of the lease contract clearly states the landlord’s rights if the renter doesn’t uphold their end of the contract terms. The landlord’s remedies will often include the right to collect legal fees if the breach is due to the renter’s defaulting on the lease agreement. This portion of the lease will also lay out the guidelines for the landlord’s entry into your unit if any repairs are required.
The Legalese In The Lease
Here’s where we break down the legal jargon you may encounter in the self-storage lease agreement and what it means in plain language.
At The Tymac Group, we work to develop self-storage facilities where they’re needed most. We believe demand for facilities is only growing. We partner with individuals looking to diversify their investment portfolios and seek the benefits of owning real estate to increase cash flow. Check us out at TheTymacGroup.com to learn more.