It is not as daunting to rent a storage unit for the first time as it may initially seem. Indeed, it can be quite easy depending on the self-storage company.
Additionally, the rental process can be even smoother if you’re prepared with some questions and have done your research beforehand.
Self-storage facilities offer a variety of storage solutions including indoor and outdoor storage, air-conditioned storage units and storage of vehicles, to name just a few.
Knowing in advance what you want to store, how long you need to store it for, and how much space you need to store your items will facilitate the rental process.
Here are our top tips for pointing you in the right direction when you next plan on renting a storage unit.
Storage Facility Security
Choose a storage facility providing premium security around the property and individual units. Ensure that the following security features safeguard your belongings:
- 24/7 video surveillance
- Adequate lighting
- Door alarms
- Passcode entry
- Perimeter fence
- Stainless steel door locks
Verify that regular property checks are carried out and confirm the steps taken should an issue arise.
Check that emergency personnel are alerted when an alarm is activated to ensure prompt addressing of any possible threats.
You might want to pay extra for a climate-controlled unit to keep your possessions safe from extreme temperatures, depending on what you are storing.
If you’re going to be storing antiques, artworks, photos, or the like, spending the extra money may make sense.
Constant changes in temperature and humidity are the main culprits when it comes to damage to fragile and expensive items.
In fact, finding damaged valuables after being stored outside in a standard storage unit isn’t unusual.
A climate-controlled storage system that uses air conditioning and heating units will keep the building’s climate more consistent than what you’ll find in your average outdoors units.
The goods you store will be inside, which will reduce the likelihood of damage by the elements.
Location. Location. Location.
Location here means the location of the storage facility itself.
With respect to the facility’s location, you may be tempted to rent from a storage company that is closest to your existing home.
While convenient, a facility close by may perhaps not have the features you really want or should have.
A better plan would be to extend your search diameter to include facilities within half an hour of your home.
For example, there are quite a number of reputable storage facilities in Auckland, including West Auckland storage units, some of which may not be exactly close to your house.
The fact is, you will most probably not visit your storage unit every day, week or even month. You might even find one that offers better amenities at a lower price by broadening your search.
Indoor or Outdoor
The next decision is whether an indoor or outdoor unit is what you need.
The benefits of indoor units are that they are cozier and your belongings will be better protected from the elements and kept at a comparatively uniform year-round temperature.
The drawbacks are you may have more trouble putting in items and taking them out again, especially things like equipment and furniture. Your hours of access may also be a little bit more limited.
Outdoor units are the ones typically accessed by driving up to them.
The advantage to these is that they are easy to access, including loading and unloading. Sizes for outdoor units may also come larger than those for indoor units. Those units, however, are not as cozy as the indoors units.
Payment and Refund Policies
Types of accepted payment methods and policy on due date vary greatly, so ask for the specifics at the storage company you choose.
Many locations will allow you to access your storage account online and pay from your bank account or with a credit card.
Make sure that you are clear about payment due dates and late payment policies so you don’t risk losing your unit.
If you’re really too busy when it comes to paying things on time, see if your storage site offers automatic payments from your credit card or bank account.
This could be the best way to ensure you ‘re not late with due payments.
You should also ask about refunds in the event that you have to cancel your rental.
Finally, ask about insurance.
Your homeowners or renters’ insurance may cover items in storage. Therefore, call your policy provider and ask for information about cover for items that are stored away from home.
Make sure that you are clear on what losses they are going to cover.
You might be covered for fires or theft, for example, but need to buy extra coverage for flooding or earthquakes.
It is important to note that while self-storage facilities carry insurance, damage to the storage building itself is typically covered, but not your personal belongings inside.
That’s different from the tenant insurance they can offer to insure your belongings and it’s usually not expensive to cover.