Storage units have been a helpful option for stowing away items and decluttering homes, garages, and offices. However, did you know that thousands of storage units are declared abandoned every year? It is difficult to imagine how renters can jilt their belongings, which they have devoted efforts to keep and store in the first place.
Unfortunately, storage units are still left abandoned due to an array of reasons, such as the renter’s inability to pay rent stemming from financial hardship, oversight, incarceration, or untimely death. But, what actually happens to abandoned storage units? Read on to find out.
What Happens When A Storage Unit is Abandoned
Though famous TV shows and flicks show entertaining events following a storage unit’s abandonment, the reality is less riveting than it seems.
In the rental contract, a clause should stipulate how many missed payments are needed before tagging a unit as abandoned. Of course, a renter gets monthly bills and reminders prior so he can keep up with the payment. If the renter fails to pay rent throughout the stated period, that’s the time when the storage facility personnel may declare it as abandoned.
After a storage unit is put on the “abandoned” list, what happens to it next varies depending on the country, state, and local laws. In general, the content of the storage units will be auctioned off. Through that, the facility may recover the missed rent and will allow them to clear the space for a new tenant.
An ad will be placed in the local newspaper or online, which will show the renter’s name, the reason for the abandonment, and that the storage unit’s content will be auctioned on a specific date and time. Everyone can participate in the auction, and even the old owner has the opportunity to bid for the items.
The storage unit will be kept locked and secured and will only be opened when the auction time comes. Depending on the law, the storage facility will decide if the items will be auctioned as separate pieces or the unit will be up for public sale as a whole.
Typically, the time of the auction will be the first time for the storage facility manager and the bidders to enter the unit and see its contents. The manager will have to see first if the renter did comply with rules, specifically on the items permitted to be stored in the space. If there are drugs, stolen items, perishable goods, and hazardous materials, they will be removed or confiscated by the authorities.
Storage auctions are pretty amazing because of the variety of things available, ranging from weird to wonderful stuff. Auctioned items come at various prices, from a few bucks to hundreds of dollars. Some of the most interesting items found on abandoned storage units include unopened safes, photos, and letters from famous celebrities, rare books, and even human ashes.
If you’re planning to rent a storage unit, check your budget to ensure that you’ll be able to pay off the rent. Also, try to get the smallest and cheapest unit possible, and throw away items that are not of utmost importance. If you experiencing troubles, try to remove items from the unit as you might want your items to be trapped, and eventually, lose your keepsakes and valuable to an auction. But, if you’re joining a storage auction instead, prepare your finances, list down what you intend to buy, and be surprised what stuff awaits you in abandoned storage units.