5 Questions to Ask a Storage Facility Before Renting a Self-Storage Unit

December 24, 2017

So, you’re in the market to rent a storage unit? The first thing you should consider before beginning your quest for the perfect self-storage unit is what you are planning to use it for and for how long you need it. Not all storage facilities are created equal, so ask questions, take a tour, and review the terms of the rental agreement before trusting the first storage unit you find. Here, we have compiled a list of things you should look for in a potential storage handler.

Questions to Ask

#1. Are there access limitations?

Whatever you are using your storage unit for, what is inside is yours and your access to it should not be limited. Most storage unit facilities have 24 hour access via a keypad on a locked gate. If you aren’t concerned about after-hours access, a smaller facility with limited access may suit you just fine. Of course, free-range, free-access offers no privacy or security to you while you’re at the unit nor your unit while you aren’t around. Limited, 24 hour access is the most ideal setup.

#2. What are the rental agreement lengths?

If you are looking for a short-term rental for something such as a move, summer break from living in a college dorm room, or hiding Christmas gifts, make sure the facility you chose can accommodate you. Typically, short term leases are a little more expensive, but there is no reason to invest in a six month lease if you only need ten days of storage. Inquiring about typical turnover, including vacant units will help give you an idea of how others trust the facility to handle their belongings. Inquire about the flexibility of the agreements and payment requirements, such as deposits, early termination fees, and online payment options.

#3. What are the security measures?

Does the storage facility have roving security guards, motion-detected lights, security cameras, smoke alarms, or a high-tech monitoring system? Security is especially important if access times include after-hours. It is also a good idea to ask about break-in and vandalism history— don’t just take their word for it, check reviews and better business bureau complaints.

#4. What fire prevention and detection measures are in place?

Make sure to find out how your belongings will be protected from fire. Does the facility have smoke alarms and if so are they in each storage locker or are the communal? Are there fire sprinklers to squash identified fires? Does the storage facility offer any protection of your belongings in the event of a fire?

#5. Is it Climate-Controlled?

Climate control means much more than heating and cooling. In humid regions, keeping the air in the units cool is just as important as reducing mold-causing moisture. In cold environments, below freezing temperatures can easily freeze and destroy your belongings. Another thing to consider is if the individual units are completely separate from each or of the walls are open to vent into a common breezeway. Being open to other units allows bugs and smells from neighboring lockers to mingle with your belongings.

Take a Tour

Make observations that will validate or discredit claims made in the phone interview. Walk or drive around and observe the security features and if they are actually in use, ideally see how far you can get before security measures stop you— is there a locked gate, a representative present, illegitimate access points, etc. Check for overgrown vegetation, breaks in the gate that surrounds the storage facility, and lighting. Most importantly, listen to your gut— is the facility somewhere you feel comfortable leaving your belongings and returning to access them?

If you are looking for a trustworthy storage unit in Ruckersville, look no further than Store it Right Self-Storage Unit. We offer climate-controlled, controlled-access, well-maintained self-storage units to fit all your storage needs. Call or stop by today!

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