Storage Auction Laws: What You Should Know

project365-gavel-5541804-lThinking about taking a shot at the buy-sell storage auction business? There's no denying the fact that this is a lucrative industry with plenty of money to be made. Granted, not all storage units will contain valuables, but it only takes one unit for a sizable payday. It's not uncommon for bidders to come across items like antique furniture, autographed memorabilia, cash, collectibles, and other items that can be easily turned for a profit. But before you embark on this new venture, you should familiarize yourself with the different laws governing storage auctions.

The Tenant Must Be Notified

Self-storage facilities are required by law to notify the tenant of his or her delinquency before auctioning off the property. This may include a simple email, or it may consists of several letters in the mail, depending on the state in which the storage facility operates. These notifications are essentially bills demanding payment for the tenant's outstanding balance. If the tenant pays, the self-storage facility must cancel the planned auction. If the tenant does not pay, or if he or she does not respond, the self-storage facility may proceed with the auction.

Auctions Must be Publicly Announced

When a self-storage facility conducts an auction, it must first announce the auction (usually in a local newspaper). This is done to provide a fair playing field for everyone involved, ensuring that everyone has ample opportunity to participate in the auction. Because self-storage facilities are required by law to announce auctions, finding them is relatively easy, especially if you sign up for a service such as ours here at

Personal Items Must Be Returned

For the most part, the winning bidder is allowed to keep any and all items he or she discovers in the self-storage unit (assuming they won the auction). However, if the bidder comes across any personal items, such as school yearbooks, wedding photos, military insignia, etc., he or she must return it to the facility's manager, who will then attempt to notify the owner. Of course, personal effects such as this have little-to-no monetary value, so it only makes sense for storage facilities to try and return them to their rightful owner.

Keep in mind that laws regarding storage auctions varies from state to state. To ensure that you are fully compliant with the law, it's recommended that you familiarize yourself with your respective state's laws.

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