Importance of Paying On-time Self-Storage Rent

Published on 7/29/2016
Soon after the firs of each month I take a close look to see who has made their storage rent payment and who has missed their payment.  If a renter HAS NOT made a payment and the 10 day grace period is fast approaching, I attempt to reach out and remind them to make their rent payment by the 10th of each month. For those renters that have not paid and have slip through the 10 day grace period; a $20 late fee is promptly attached to your rental bill.  

From a storage facility owner's perspective, non-timely payments that results in a late fee can be lucrative and isn't typically viewed as a bad thing- as a matter of fact, it's  usually good news as another $20 has been incurred by the renter as  generated income for the facility.  

I will let you know right now that I DON'T see it this way.  I want renter(s) to make their payments on-time and I don't want the hassle of collecting extra fees.  I simply want a "clean" rent roll by at least the end of each grace period.  

For renters that have honestly forgotten to make a timely payment or a family emergency has prevented payment, I have NO PROBLEM waiving a late fee... However, a renter needs to let me know. On the other hand, if a renter is not communicating with me, rent is overdue, and/or the overdue payment situation has become a chronic problem...  I will CERTAINLY uphold a late fee as it is stated in the Lone Larch Storage Rental Agreement.

Now, if, for some reason, a renter continues not to pay rent, the associated late fee, and is not communicating with me for an additional 10 days, I will most certainly OVERLOCK that particular renter's unpaid unit.  Overclocking a unit that is in default for 20 days or more is contractually agreed upon by both the renter and myself as the owner of Lone Larch Storage.  Under terms of the Lone Larch contract, when a unit is overlocked, it becomes lawfully inaccessible until all rent and associated fees are paid in full by the renter under terms of the self-storage contract.

I don't like overlocking units and will remove the overlock as soon as I receive full payment of rent and associated fees.

In another 10 days, 30 days without payment of rent and associated fee(s), a renter is in DEFAULT according to MONTANA CODE: 70-6-420.     As the storage unit owner, I now have the right to sell a renter's personal items at public auction to cover a particular unit's past due rent and associated fees.

Going to auction is something that I do NOT want to do and have so far avoided at Lone Larch Storage. I think it is ridiculous that I even need to consider going to auction with someone's personal items to cover unpaid rent(s) and associated fees.  HOWEVER, going to auction is my last course of action to recoup renter debt and I am prepared to go to auction if necessary.

What I would rather see to avoid all of this... 

IS to have renters communicating with me on a regular basis.  

IF rent payment is going to be late- please let me know!  

IF for some reason a renter can not afford rent... PLEASE MOVE OUT before non-payment and late rent fees exceed financial means.    

ALWAYS Move out before debt exceeds ability to pay your rent which a renter is accountable for.  A renter can always re-rent a storage unit when financial ability allows them to do so.

If you rent from me, thank you for doing so and I appreciate having you a self storage renter.  My business is dependent upon you and your timely payments!

Thanks again,

Ted Steiner