Gabfocus Spotlight: Which states’ laws are most supportive of self storage?

February 7, 2024

self storage help video quote
2 min

Whether you're opening a new facility or you're just curious, knowing which state has laws that favor self storage operators can be handy!

From laws about towing vehicles to lien laws, the operations of your self storage business depend heavily on your state's laws. While states largely mirror each other in a general way, you start to find many differences when you look at the details.

Take a listen to our expert guest Joe Doherty of the Self Storage Association as he talks about the differences in state laws!

Question: "Which states’ laws are most supportive of self storage?"

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:

I would say just kind of initially, all of the laws generally follow the same format, but there are definitely some differences. And some pretty big differences in some places, but it's some number of notices after the tenant's been late for some amount of time.

And then you have to wait a certain amount of time after that.

Then you advertise, whether in a paper or online. You wait a little bit more time, and you have the sale.

All of the laws are very favorable in the sense that you don't have to file a lawsuit to enforce your rights.

This is something that came up in Louisiana a couple of years ago. I know Melissa remembers it, where a state legislator filed a bill to try to eliminate the lien remedy and put all of these issues into court. And we were able to say, that's just crazy. You have no idea what you're getting yourself into if you do that.

So with that said, the states that I would say are most favorable, probably not terribly surprising... States like North Dakota, Montana, Iowa, all very favorable. Nebraska is another one.

In terms of the less favorable, New Mexico has the longest lien enforcement period in the country at 90 days. And also Minnesota, which has both an extended enforcement time period, and a whole bunch of requirements, probably about 15 separate requirements of what needs to go into a rental agreement.

And then Minnesota has, I want to say, a unique or maybe one or two other states have this type of provision where the tenant can get access to property even when they're in default.

So there are certain items that the statute says, like personal papers, what they call tools of the trade. So I'm a carpenter and I've got a hammer and a saw, that type of thing. I'm not a hands on type of person, so I don't even know what someone might have. But you know what I mean.

They can get access to those items up to a certain dollar amount, even if they're not paying you. So that's a provision that is not going anywhere.

We're just trying to kind of be the little dutch boy, keeping our finger in the dike and not making it any worse."

—Joe Doherty

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