A self-storage unit is extremely helpful for anyone who is going through a move or if you have space constraint at your home and want to put away few things safely someplace. But before you decide to rent out a self-storage unit, make sure you ask these questions. A thorough research is an utmost necessity while renting such units as obviously the whole purpose of renting is to keep your belongings safe.
Depending on what you are planning to store and for how much duration, you should decide what type of storage you need and then ask a lot of questions to the storage facility personnel. You should definitely conduct a thorough tour and make serious observations before you sign the rental agreement.
What kind of Security System do you have?
If you are storing your valuable stuff in the storage, this should be the priority. Make sure the facility has a strong security system with the following security features;
- CCTV cameras to cover all the corridors, entry, exits and individual storage units.
- 24-hour video surveillance
- Individual door alarms
- Passcode entry for gates
- Enough lighting in all corridors
- Proper fencing around the storage facility.
- Frequent property checks and patrolling
- Emergency personnel notified immediately when the alarm sets off.
Is there a functional smoke alarm and sprinkler system installed?
This is pretty standard in all facilities, but it is still a good practice to ask this basic information as this is quite important in case of a fire. Make sure the sprinkler system covers all self-storage units as well.
Is the storage unit climate controlled?
Most of the items we store in self-storage units need a stabilized climate to preserve the stored items. Climate control means controlling the temperature and humidity to preserve the integrity of your stored possessions. Clear this out with the storage facility. In few storage facilities, all their storage units are climate-controlled and in few facilities, you may have to pay extra for it. Make sure you are clear about the kind of unit you are renting.
How many storage units you have and how many are vacant?
The answer to this question will give you the popularity of the facility. Any reputable storage facility will have many users and hence less vacancy. Do your research about the facility before you plan on renting
How much do you charge per month?
This might be the most important question as this would be a deal maker or breaker. Remember, it is not important that an expensive storage unit is better than an affordable unit. Nowadays you will find many self-storage units near your place like storage units Mount Vernon which is both reputable and affordable. In-fact many facilities provide you various offers like reduction in price for a month, first month free renting etc. Negotiate and rent a unit which is reputable but fits your budget.
What is the notice period for vacating the self-storage unit?
You need to be clear on the notice period to vacate the unit. Treat this like renting an apartment; you need to be clear with the terms of the agreement.
What kind of insurance is applicable to the stored items?
Your items may be covered under homeowners or renter’s insurance but once you move it out of your house and store it in a storage facility, there would be limitations on the damage coverage by the insurance provider. Before renting a self-storage unit you should make sure that you clear out what losses they will cover and what you will need to bear in case of damage to your belongings. Most facilities carry their own insurance, but it might be applicable for damage to the storage building it and not your items inside. Talk to them if they offer tenant insurance to insure your personal belongings. The coverage is usually not that expensive.
Do I have any limit to my access?
You might want to rent a storage unit which is flexible when it comes to accessing your unit. Find out if after-hour appointment and accessibility are provided when it is convenient for you. Also, find out if they provide the facility of contacting the representatives after working hours in case of urgency to operate your unit.
Have any break-ins been reported?
Getting this information would make you understand the security of the storage facility and the safety of your belongings. Also, if they upgrade their security system from time to time.
You will have to assess what you will be storing that will help you in deciding the exact specification of the self-storage unit you would need. Be thorough in your research and clear all your doubts by asking questions to the storage facility personnel. Visit more than one storage facility to check out your options. When you are extremely clear and convinced by the storage facility, only then decide to rent a self-storage unit.