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Self-Storage Questions & Answers

Q & As - ezstorit.comWhat is a climate-controlled unit?

Climate-controlled units keep the temperature consistent, usually round 55-80° F. This minimizes the likelihood of damage to the items stored in the unit from extreme hot or cold weather.

How do I choose a climate-controlled unit?

Before deciding whether or not to rent a climate-controlled unit, consider the geographic location of the items to be stored, the type of items and their value. If you live in an area where the temperature exceeds 90° F in the summer but does not freeze during wintertime or if your experience only extreme cold weather, then an air conditioned or heated unit would work best.

What is the difference between an air-conditioned/heated unit and climate-controlled unit?

Air-conditioned and heated unit either lower or increase the temperature respectively while the temperature in climate-controlled units can be set and maintained accordingly.

What is a drive-up unit?

Located on the ground floor, these units have a roll-up door and allow for the loading and unloading of items directly from your car or truck. They are especially convenient for storing tools, furniture, vehicles and other items that might be too large to fit in an indoor unit.

What is the difference between an indoor and outdoor unit?

An indoor unit can only be accessed from inside the property and can be located on any floor. Outdoor units are only located on the ground floor and are used for drive-up access.

What is mobile storage?

Also known as portable storage, mobile storage offers an alternative to traditional storage. With mobile storage, a container is delivered to your home or business where it can be filled at your convenience. Once filled, it can be stored at your home or office or picked up by the storage company and placed in its warehouse.

What items can’t be stored?

There are several items that cannot be stored in a self storage unit. The most commonly restricted items include: inflammable material, animals or animal products, firearms, perishable food items, and plants. Self storage restrictions might differ according to the facility so it is best to always check.

What does “on-site” manager mean?

This means an employee, usually the manager, lives on site as part of the facility. On-site managers provide an added level of security since someone is always there.

What is the difference between office hours and gate hours?

Office hours refer to the times where a facility employee will be available to help and gate hours are the times when you can access your unit. Office hours are usually normal business hours while gate hours can, depending on the facility, be up to 24 hours.

Do I need insurance when renting self storage?

Yes. Many self storage facilities will provide you with the option of using an insurance company that the facility has some kind of working relationship with. If you have renter’s insurance, check to see if your existing policy will cover the items you place in self storage.

How do I calculate how much storage I need?

This will vary based on the items you plan on storing. Some facilities have a helpful online estimator while others are able to assist you with choosing a unit if you call in or visit and let them know what you will be storing.

What is mini storage?

These are units that can range in size from 5”x5” to 10”x30” and more. They can either be located indoors or outdoor and usually used when a tenant needs a temporary space while moving.

Do I need a lock for my unit?

Yes. Nearly every self storage facility requires all tenants to place a lock on their unit. This helps to safeguard your belonging from other renters or in the event of a break-in.

What types of locks work best for self storage units?

Disc locks are perhaps the strongest and most reliable locks for self storage units. They are both drill and pick-proof. Another viable option is a one-time-use padlock. These require the lock before it can be opened.

Can self storage facility employees access my unit?

No, employees generally do not have access to the items in a self storage unit. If you place a personal lock on the unit, there are only certain stipulated conditions in which an employee can access it, e.g. if you default on a payment.

Can I share my unit with friends and family?

Absolutely. You decide who can access your unit. However, you should notify the self storage facility that you will be giving other persons access in order to prevent any mix-ups.

Is there an electrical outlet in a self storage unit?

No. However, some commercial storage units have electrical outlets.

Can I stay overnight in my self storage unit?

No, staying overnight or living in a self storage unit is not allowed. Also, most facilities prohibit working out of a self storage unit as well.

Can I store vehicles?

Yes. You can store RVs, cars, motorcycles and even boats. Most facilities stipulate that the vehicle should be in drivable condition and you will be required to maintain vehicle insurance while it is in storage.

What kinds of discounts are available?

Available discounts will vary across facilities. The most common self storage discounts include those for college students and military personnel.

What happens if I don’t pay my rent?

If you fail to make regular payments, some facilities will access the items in your unit and sell them to cover the missed monthly payments. This is usually outlined in the contract and the self storage facility is well within its right to do so.

Can I rent month-to-month?

Self storage rentals usually operate on a month-to-month basis. However, while there is no maximum time for which your items can be in self storage, some facilities may require a minimum stay.

When can I access my unit?

Typically, you will be able to access your unit outside of normal business hours (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and many facilities offer 24-hour access. For facilities that do not allow around the clock access, the business hours and gate hours are usually clearly outlined.

How can I pay for my self storage unit?

Facilities accept cash or major credit cards. If the facility has a website, inquire about the possibility of paying online as well.

Can a self storage facility accept a delivery on my behalf?

Depending on the relationship you have with the self storage facility, this may be possible. Some facilities do accept deliveries on behalf of tenants and this should be outlined in the contract.

How do I move my items to a unit that is not on the ground floor?

You can use the freight elevator, which is used to move goods for interior storage. This eliminates the hassle of carrying larger items up a flight of stairs.

Can I store wine?

Yes. Many facilities even offer special units for wine storage which are designed to maintain the appropriate temperature for keeping wine.