Six things you should know before renting a self storage unit
Renting space for your property, whether it be personal or business can be a big decision. When looking for and renting extra space to store, here are a few tips to get the best out of your storage experience.
NOT ALL STORAGE FACILITIES ARE THE SAME
Just like children, no two facilities are the same, even within the same company. Check for security measures (including pin-access, individual unit alarm control, gates, CCTV and lighting), customer service, cleanliness, help to move and packing materials. Having a checklist of what your top priorities in a storage facility can help you to make your final decision.
THEFT - WHAT WILL YOUR STORAGE FACILITIES DO TO AVOID THIS?
Security gates, padlocks and gate access don't always stop an opportune burglar. To avoid this always rent off facilities that have ;
individually alarmed storage units - to deactivate the alarm, the customer must have the pin code, if un-authorised access occurs the alarm with sound with an immediate identification of which unit has been accessed
CCTV - there will be security cameras covering the whole facility inside and out
for your peace of mind use a disc lock which cannot be cut by bolt cutters
Lastly ask a lot of questions about how the facility maintains their commitment to security. If they can't or don't want to answer, go elsewhere.
BEWARE OF "MOVE-IN DISCOUNTS"
Many storage companies offer sporadic and well-timed move-in discounts or 'a months rent free', to get you to move in at a low rate only to raise the rent very soon afterwards (which will be in the fine print of your contract). Before you rent, ask the manager how often your rent will be raised and how long they can guarantee your rent will not change. If you are happy with their answers, ask for the guarantees in writing. If they are not willing to do this, go elsewhere.
We see it time and time again in the industry; people rent far more space than they need. Use the planning calculators on websites when moving, ask for advice from the store manager and if you find yourself moved in with excess space, don't be afraid to request a smaller unit at a more modest price!
Packing the unit properly will also save you valuable space, again follow a checklist to save you money and space
If you do not have easy access to a large trailer or truck, you will probably have to rent one. Some storage facilities will offer a free trailer to their customers (for a limited period), some will offer a trailer or truck at a cost - do try and negotiate the fee, or the best storage facilities will offer a free truck and driver. The cost of moving can often be more than the first few months rent on your unit, so it is worth checking out which facilities offer these services.
Insurance is the responsibility of the customer. Storage facilities are not insured for the contents of customers units, because it is rented space, much like a house rental, you will need to insure the goods you intend to store. Your house and contents cover will generally not cover you for goods in storage, and it is often cheaper to purchase insurance directly from your storage facility. Your store manager will have full details on this.
And then, enjoy the freedom of all your space you have created!