Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why can't we go in the units, or see inside the boxes?

Why can’t we see what’s in the boxes? That’s a question we hear at storage auctions. At Schur Success Auction & Appraisal, we want you to understand WHY we do what we do.

There’s a fairly simple answer to that question. Self Storage facilities would really rather not go to auction. They would much prefer that people pay their bills. Unfortunately not everyone can or will pay their bill. When that happens, the management exercises their rights to place a lien on the contents of the unit until the bill is paid. When that fails, the management must go to auction to recover their losses.

In Colorado, and in many states, the management company must conduct a limited inventory of each unit that has been seized under the lien laws. The inventory is a good idea, and it’s a great way to protect the manager from any claims by the renter that things were stolen or damaged. To further protect themselves from these claims, the managers will conduct their inventory from the threshold without ever entering the unit. They record only what they see from outside the unit. There are exceptions of course, but they are very rare and must be documented properly.

The bottom line is simple… If management never entered the unit at all, the renter will have a difficult time claiming that something was stolen or damaged. It’s that simple. We follow that principle. If managers are entering the unit for any reason, they had better have a pretty good reason or they’re facing serious trouble. If we suspect that managers are going into units, we won’t conduct their auctions.

For many of our clients, we supply a team member to help conduct the inventory. We witness the unit being opened, inventoried, and then locked up again. We will then add an orange lock-out tag to reassure you that the inventory was conducted properly.

For the customers who don’t use our inventory services, we are familiar with their processes and are confident that they follow protocol and do not enter the units. This is the same reason we don’t open boxes or allow anyone into the units until they have been paid for. If no one ever entered the unit, there can be no legitimate claim that something was stolen or damaged. Once the unit is sold and paid for, that concern goes away.

 Questions? Give us a call. (866) 290-2243.