Commonly Used Storage Terms

  • Administration Fee – Self-storage facilities often charge a onetime administrative fee instead of charging a refundable or non-refundable security deposit. The administration fee is typically less than the traditional deposit amount. Some facilities collect administrative fees to offset the cost of processing paperwork for new rentals.
  • Brass Lock – An individual lock that is weather resistant, corrosion resistant, and features anti-pick tumblers.
  • Business Storage – Businesses often need extra space for seasonal items, pharmaceutical storage, and inventory. Self-storage is a good alternative to expensive leased retail space.
  • Climate Control – Storage facilities that offer Climate Control will use reasonable efforts to avoid temperature extremes in these units. Units are considered Climate Control when units are kept warmer than the outside temperature in cold weather and cooler than the outside temperature in hot weather, through an HVAC or other system.  Climate controlled units are ideal for items that are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity levels.
  • Non-Climate Control (Cold Storage) – An enclosed storage unit secured by the tenant’s own lock and key that is not protected from humidity and temperature extremes.  This type of storage is ideal for items that are not sensitive to humidity and temperature swings.
  • Computer Controlled Access – Storage units secured by doors/gates that are accessed by the tenant entering their pin code in a gate access system (the personal code is typically entered into a keypad -see keypad for more information).
  • Default – Failure by renter to keep any of the promises in a storage unit rental agreement in a timely manner.
  • Drive-Up Unit – This unit type is often accessible from a main driveway. These units are positioned so tenants can drive right up to the storage unit door for easy loading and unloading of belongings. Drive up storage units are generally larger units (10×15 to 10×30).
  • Gate Access Code – Storage facilities that have a security access system will give tenants individual access codes (commonly referred to as PIN #’s) which will open the gate/door that secures the storage property. Individual access codes help to prevent non-authorized individuals from entering the facility.
  • Hallway or Interior Unit – Units located in the interior corridor of a storage building. Vehicles cannot directly access these units. Most hallway/interior units are accessed through exterior service doors or by elevators. In most cases, these units are smaller in size ranging from 5×5 to10x15’s.
  • Household Storage – If your household lacks closet space, a garage, or a basement, self storage is a good way to store your extra goods such as seasonal clothes or decorations, extra furniture, bikes, and cars. Self-storage is also useful if you are moving or trying to sell your house and need to clear clutter.
  • Insurance – Self-storage facilities are generally not responsible for the contents of your unit so it is always a good idea to insure the goods you are storing. Self-storage insurance is almost always available to you at the time you rent your unit through the self-storage facility or through an independent third party who is referred by the self-storage property. Before you buy insurance, check with your own agent. In many cases, your homeowner’s or renter’s policy will cover you at no extra cost.
  • Keypad – A security device generally tied into an access entry control system. This entry control system requires storage customers to enter a private access code in order to gain access to the self-storage property. For security purposes, most systems track when customers enter and exit the property.
  • Lien – The operator of a self-service storage facility shall have a lien on all personal property stored within each leased space for rent, labor, insurance or other charges in relationship to the property. Additional information on storage unit liens are included in the storage rental agreement.
  • Locker – A term used to describe the storage space a person rents. Lockers are also referred to as units, space, store rooms, or storage units. Depending on the storage facility, lockers or storage units come in a variety of sizes from a 5×5 (closet size) to a 10×20 (single car garage) and larger. When trying to figure out what size locker or unit you may need, it is often best to call your local storage operator.

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  • Mini Storage – A common term used to describe self storage, which is used by individuals or businesses to store household and commercial goods. Mini Storage is also commonly referred to as moving storage, mini warehouse, public storage, storage locker, storage center, or self-storage.
  • Month to Month Lease – When choosing a storage facility, this is something storage customers should be aware of. A month to month lease means the tenant pays monthly for as long as they need storage. This type of storage lease does not lock a tenant into a long term lease agreement. Most month to month leases start and are payable on the first of every month.
  • Hazardous Materials – Hazardous materials are items that are unsafe to store. Some examples of hazardous items include flammable or explosive materials, chemicals, fireworks, and gasoline.
  • Perishable Materials – Perishable materials should not be stored in a self-storage unit. Examples of perishable items include food or live animals.
  • Move Out Notice – Required notice of tenant’s intent to vacate that is given to the storage manager. Specific move out notice requirements will be outlined in the storage rental agreement signed with the self storage facility. Refer to your rental agreement for move out notice requirements.
  • Pharmaceutical Storage – Pharmaceutical representatives often store supplies in self-storage facilities; however, some products require climate control storage (for more information on climate control – see above)
  • Pro-rated Rent – When you move in, you will pay a pro-rated first month’s rent. For example, if you move in on August 12th, and your rent is $100 per month, you will pay (20/31)*$100 = $65.
  • Rent – Payment made by the tenant for storage rental. In the self-storage industry, rent can be due on the first of each month or on the tenant’s anniversary date (date customer rented the unit).
  • Rental Lease / Rental Agreement – A legal contract signed by the tenant. A rental lease or rental agreement is required by most-every storage facility in order to rent a storage unit.
  • Resident Managers – Managers who live on-site at a storage facility (referred to as on-site resident managers).
  • Security – Devices or measures taken by a property owner to help protect storage tenants’ belongings. Common security devices include cameras, computer controlled access systems, door alarms, perimeter fences, resident managers and more.
  • Self Storage – Abbreviated term for self-service storage, and is commonly referred to as moving storage, mini storage, mini warehouse, public storage, storage locker, storage center, or self store. Self-storage facilities lease space to individuals storing household goods and other valuables, to businesses storing archived records, excess inventory, or pharmaceutical supplies, and to individuals storing recreational vehicles such as boats, campers, trailers, all terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles.
  • Steel Lock – An individual lock that is weather resistant, corrosion resistant, and features anti-pick tumblers.
  • Transfer Fee – A processing charge generated when a tenant moves (transfers) from an existing unit into a new unit at the same facility.

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