Should You Give Someone Else Access to Your Storage Unit?

Jon Fesmire | June 21, 2018 @ 8:01 AM

Self storage can be extremely helpful, and you’ll pay a lot less for it per square foot than you do for the same square footage in any apartment or house.

Considering sharing your storage unit with someone else and wondering if it’s a good idea? Before you give someone else a copy of your key, read the following and decide if it will make sense for you.

Why Not To

Many self storage facilities usually allow only one person’s name as a tenant on a contract. The reason for this is simple. It makes the most sense for a facility to deal with only one tenant per unit. If the rent is late, they know who is responsible for paying it. If it is so late that the process of bringing it to auction begins, they know whom to contact. That process is complicated enough without adding more people to the contract.

Renting a unit with your boyfriend or girlfriend may seem like a good plan. You might also consider renting a unit with your best friend or college roommate. However, these arrangements may not be a great idea.

Let’s say Jim and Joe, college roommates, rent a unit together, and it’s in Jim’s name. Jim goes back home for the summer and Joe can’t find his unit key, but really needs his surfboard and wetsuit, which he left in the unit during the spring. He tells the manager and asks to be let in, but the manager has to say no, because only Jim’s name is on the unit. Even if they call Jim, and Jim says it’s okay, the manager may have to decline, since letting Joe in would involve cutting the lock. Even worse, friends or a couple may have parted on bad terms. In that case, Jim might never let Joe get his surfing equipment.

Why You Might Want To

When you have a solid, positive, trusting, and long-standing relationship with someone, it can make sense to share a unit.

This is especially true for families. Let’s say you’re married with children, and your family is moving. You and your spouse decide to use self storage as a place to put many of your belongings before your move. In that case, it would make little sense for each of you to rent a unit. Is it possible you’ll have a contentious break-up and that the one not on the contract will find him or herself locked out of the unit? It is, but it’s far less likely.

Basically, it comes down to trust and to the character of the other person. Is this someone you know well enough that you can trust them with your belongings? Or, is it someone who, for all you know, will run off with something valuable you put in storage? We can’t tell you not to share your key with anyone. All we can tell you is to use your best judgment.

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