The Pros and Cons of Sharing a Storage Unit

Jon Fesmire | Oct 19, 2016 @ 03:04 PM

So, you have things to store, but don’t have quite enough for a 5x5 unit. Or maybe your finances are tight and you want to save money per square foot on storage. You may live in a city where the price of self storage units is on the higher end.

One solution is to rent a unit with another person.

The Cons

If you’re considering sharing a self storage unit with someone, make sure it’s with someone you know and trust. There are many things that can go wrong when sharing a unit with someone.

Most self storage facilities only have leases for individuals. The renter can share keys with others and allow them access to the unit, but the primary renter is legally responsible for it. That means if your partner is supposed to pay half the rent, but doesn’t give you the money, you are still responsible for all of it.

What could go wrong?

For example, you and your friend could have a falling out. If they’re the one on the lease, they could easily prevent you from getting your things, and you won’t be allowed in if they change the lock. You would be looking at a legal battle. Or, you may pay them your half of the rent every month, but they may forget to pay the facility and ignore warning letters. The next thing you know, the unit is getting auctioned off with your stuff in it.

Your self storage partner will also have access to everything you store, and someone you don’t know well could take anything they wanted and skip town.

For these reasons, we discourage you from sharing a unit with a friend, or even your significant other, unless you are completely sure you can trust them. Really think about it. If you do have problems in the relationship in the future, do you want a shared storage unit to be another point of contention?

The Pros

Let’s say you’re in a situation in which you need storage, need to save money per square foot, and are sure you can trust your self storage roommate. What might that situation look like?

Your partner might be a friend you’ve known for years whom you’ve always been able to trust. They may be your spouse, or significant other in a healthy, long-term relationship. If you’re in college, they may be your present dormmate.

In fact, college is a likely time when you will need a roommate for self storage. Dorm rooms are generally pretty small, so students need some storage space. However, in college, it’s not uncommon to have a tight budget and to subsist on hot dogs and ramen noodles. That self storage unit might really cut into your budget, but by sharing a unit with one or two other students, you could save money.

What it all boils down to is this: You have to weigh the potential monetary savings versus how much you trust the other person.

Think it through, but also trust your gut. There are no guarantees, so just make the best decision you can.