Gabfocus Spotlight: What’s the most common legal mistake that operators make?

February 27, 2024

self storage help video quote
2 min

Are you a legal expert?

We can probably confidently bet that most self storage operators aren't lawyers (though some of you probably are!).

Laws are complex. It's possible to accidentally step into legal trouble, no matter how hard you try to stay out of it.

We asked Joe Doherty of the Self Storage Association to sit down with us and talk about the most common legal mistakes operators make.

Question: "What’s the most common legal mistake that operators make?"

Check out the video clip below to hear their answers:


In this Gabfocus Session: 2023 Storage Legal Update, Tommy and Melissa were joined by Joe Doherty of the Self Storage Association. He gave us his legal update for the self storage industry as of the end of 2023, and he even gave us a sneak peek at the legal landscape of 2024.

Check out the full Session to dive deeper! 

Don't want to watch the clip? Here's what Joe had to say:

The big one that I see, not necessarily through the dockets, but just from conversations at state meetings and talking to folks when they call up our association headquarters is:

Are you going cheap on your rental agreement?

This is not by any means a sales pitch for me because I don't draft rental agreements. It's not part of my job.

But please don't hire your brother-in-law who's a criminal defense lawyer to write your self storage lease. Don't even hire the guy who might know or gal who might know about rental of stores or apartments or commercial space.

Hire a self storage attorney to draft your rental agreement.

And don't go cheap.

You have a multimillion-dollar investment. Spend a few thousand dollars to make sure your rental agreement has what the state requires that your rental agreement must have. And in many cases, if you're a member of a state association, I think Louisiana is one of those with Melissa here, you can get your rental agreement through the state.

You have a lot of options.

And if you want something that's tailored, you can pay a little bit more. If you're comfortable with kind of the off-the-shelf option that's been vetted by a self storage attorney, you can purchase it through your state association.

But please do not go cheap on this because it is the gateway to answering so many questions and issues that might come up at your facility.

If you have a properly drafted rental agreement, it's going to cut off so many problems."

—Joe Doherty

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