I am sure that you think that this is going to be another post about my rental property, but you are wrong. This is about some storage space that I rent. I have been renting one of those “you keep the key” rental spaces for the past few years. It’s a 10×10 non-climate controlled space and was costing $82 a month. I installed some metal shelving in it, and it is fairly packed with all sorts of items. The place that I had been renting from was giving us one month free if we paid for six months in advance. That lowered the price to $68 per month. It was one of the few left in the area that were still locally owned, with most of them having been bought out by large companies within the last few years.
Then it was bought out by a large company. This company just bought four formerly locally owned facilities within the past year. They immediately doubled the rates at all of the properties and eliminated the free month for paying in advance. Instead they began charging a surcharge if you didn’t set up automatic credit card billing. My rate is now $164 a month- two and a half times as much as it was before. That works out to $1.64 a square foot per month for warehouse space.
Me charging $1.05 for my rental property tells you how far below market I am.
Anyway, the increase in price didn’t make service any better. They consolidated the staff in their now four warehouse properties, and the office that is actually staffed is ten miles away. There is now only a note on the office where my unit is, saying to call this number for service. The problem? No one answers it, and the management put a padlock on my unit, making my stuff inaccessible. I am trying to get ahold of them to unlock my stuff. If they don’t do so within the next few days, I will go over there with an angle grinder and get my stuff out of there.
In the meantime, if my shit gets auctioned off before I can get in there, I will be suing them for the contents of the locker.
The Neon Madman · November 1, 2022 at 5:20 pm
$164 for 10 x 10? That’s double what a 10 x 20 was costing me a few years ago.
Steve S6 · November 1, 2022 at 5:33 pm
I’d be tempted to cut out around the lock but that would leave them grounds for charging you. Still tempting.
CJarvis · November 1, 2022 at 5:49 pm
Sounds typical. Why’d they put a lock on your unit?
Divemedic · November 1, 2022 at 9:06 pm
Don”t know. Not in arrears. I am trying to get someone on the phone.
Jimbo · November 2, 2022 at 9:10 am
All due respect Divemedic, I wouldn’t wait even a few days. They have subjected you to some very questionable nonsense by putting their lock on your stuff when you are not in arrears on pay’t. Would urge you to use the angle grinder on their lock and get your stuff out of there without delay.
Tom from East Tennessee · November 1, 2022 at 6:27 pm
Well, that sucks. Wish I had something useful to say but you pretty much have a handle on it, PITA that it is. Hope you are able to get your things with as little additional hassle as possible.
I haven’t had a storage unit rental in almost ten years but I’m glad to read of your recent experience, lest I get tempted to go that route again.
Big Ruckus D · November 1, 2022 at 7:49 pm
We have had a massive new build out of these types of storage rental units all around the area I live in over the last few years. So much so that I cannot believe there is nearly enough demand to keep all these places even 50% full.
Between that and the now exorbitant rates being charged, I’m left to wonder who in the hell has the money to pay the monthly rental on these places, and allow them all to remain profitable. At the new rate they’re charging you, that amounts to an average monthly electric or a couple of months of gas bill for a single family residence here in the Midwest. Given how many people are living hand to mouth now, there have to be a ton of these units sitting empty and not leased. Maybe that’s part of the reason the rates are up so much, but I don’t really know.
I will echo your observation about how larger out of town operators are buying these places up left and right. Some of these are barely a year old from their original buildout and are already under new ownership. The major operator here now is Life Storage. We also have Public Storage, and a few U-Haul storage locations, but both of them have been here for 20 plus years.
I’d say there are at least six other outfits that have come and gone in the last decade in this market. These include Uncle Bob’s Storage, EZ Storage, and Storage Banc. So far as I can recall, all of those became Life Storage locations when they changed ownership. Looks to me like some anti-trust action would be in order, if we had functional governance.
Anyway, absolutely get over there, cut off their lock, and reclaim your stuff before they fuck you out of the contents. The most they can ding you for then is the cost of the lock. Given that the place is now unstaffed, it doesn’t sound like there’s anyone there to stop you from doing so. If they don’t have a credit card number on file they can hit, you could stiff them out of whatever they claim you owe now just out of principal.
Angus McThag · November 1, 2022 at 7:51 pm
If you’re not in arrears, cut that lock today.
Better yet, call the cops and demand they investigate this attempted theft.
Might not get anywhere, but you’ve screwed up their office routine for weeks.
Nick Flandrey · November 1, 2022 at 9:10 pm
I have a couple of units at the same facility, that was bought by a big corp from the local operator only a year or two ago. I arrived one day to find a lock on my unit. MY lock was gone, and the lock on it was one of the round ones, like the company uses. I assumed they’d locked me out. Calling the remote office got a guy to come over and look, once they figured out that THEY hadn’t locked me out. And that they never remove a renter’s lock, just add one of theirs. So out came the grinder and we opened my unit.
Turns out my unit had been burgled, every bin tossed and gone thru, all the ebay reseller inventory stolen. Sports equipment, A/V gear, small appliances, etc all gone. The company couldn’t care less. The facility manager couldn’t even be bothered to review 4 days of video from one camera to see what the thieves were driving. I was going to take the video to some friends in law enforcement because this is organized crime. Stolen truck (common MO according to the manager), planned ahead, replaced lock, gang hitting several units at once, etc. Far more than just a tweaker breaking a lock and grabbing a few things. My buddy would have loved the chance to get a lead on a gang like that. No help at all from the company though.
Then the company posted 30.06 and 30.07 signs EVERYWHERE ( no carry concealed, no carry open) which is probably illegal due to the nature of the facility, and they have since been removed everywhere but the enclosed office.
So I’m trying to get out of that facility and into somewhere more reasonable, and secure.
Long story, but hopefully interesting. I hope your lock is still on your unit, and you haven’t been hit like I was.
Steve · November 2, 2022 at 12:35 pm
Is it just my cynicism showing to wonder if The facility manager [who] couldn’t even be bothered might have been in on the organized crime? After all, insider crime is a big problem now in business.
It's just Boris · November 1, 2022 at 9:34 pm
Makes me wonder whether the joker who put the lock on, got the wrong unit number or even the wrong location. That would fit with you not getting any notice this was going to happen.
Elrod · November 2, 2022 at 7:56 am
Yeah, SSDD in the storage space industry. I’ve got a 5X10 that’s packed full and tight, rent was $39/mo when I got it, 6 months ago SuperMegaCorp took over the facility, now it’s $69. I’m looking for a replacement.
T Town · November 2, 2022 at 9:10 pm
Is your lock still on the unit, and another one added to it? Or has your lock been replaced? If your lock has been replaced, you may have had your unit robbed. Had that happen to me.
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