8 Questions to Ask About Your Storage Unit Rental

By Tamiera Vandegrift on February 9, 2017

When you are a college student, it is difficult to find one place and call it home. Typically, we find ourselves moving from apartment to apartment, or from dorm to dorm depending on our housing contracts or leases.

It can certainly be difficult to continuously make the long haul from home back to campus lugging 500 extra pounds of stuff.

Image via: Pixabay

Luckily for us, storage unit companies exist! Storage units offer students the chance to store their items while they are gone for summer break, study abroad, or for whatever other reason! When you start looking into storage unit rental, you may feel a bit overwhelmed, but never fear! All that matters is that you find the right storage unit rental company.

In order to do so, you will have to know how to ask the right questions. Read on to find eight of the best questions to ask before renting a storage unit.

1. Are there any fees or deposits required?

Once you begin your research on storage unit facilities, you will want to address costs and fees first. Some storage unit facilities charge security deposits, set-up fees, or administration fees. You never want to be in for a surprise when it comes down to renting a storage unit. Ask about the financials and see if this facility’s costs will be within your budget. Security deposits are typically anywhere between $45 to $100 so it will definitely pay off to do your research ahead of time.

2. What are the details of the contract I am signing on to?

The next thing you should consider is the type of contract that you are signing on to. This tends to vary from facility to facility. Some facilities offer leases on a month to month basis, where you are responsible for paying your rent on the first of every month. Some facilities offer leases on a two-month basis, followed by a per month set-up after that initial period. Do your research before you sign your name on the lease to make sure that the contract you are signing on to will match your goals.

3. What forms of payment does the company accept?

Will your storage facility accept all major credit cards, or are there some that they will deny? Do they approve of debit cards, cash, money orders, or checks? The more flexible that your potential storage facility is, the better for you.

You should also do research to find out what the payment method is. Can you pay online? Will you have to mail in your payments? Can you pay over the phone? All storage facilities are different so it will pay off to know how you need to pay.

Image via: Pexels

4. Does the company offer insurance for my items?

When your items are not in your possession, unfortunately, you will always run the risk of damage. The storage facility that you are considering may offer a form of insurance that you can purchase to protect your items should something happen. All insurance plans are not created equal, so it is best to look into something that will cover all of your concerns. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.

5. How can I access my storage unit?

Should you need to access your storage unit in case of an emergency, you will need to know the access hours. If the office is not open, will you still be able to access your items? What are the procedures for accessing your items? How can you access the facility — electronic gate or will someone have to let you in? This is all good information to have in mind before you rent in case you should have an emergency arise.

6. What types of storage units are available?

Another thing you should consider is the type of storage unit you will need to store your belongings. There are drive-up access facilities where you can pull up to the unit as you would a garage door and empty your items into it, or retrieve them at the end of your lease. There are indoor access facilities which are located inside of the main building, where you will be safe from inclement weather. There is also the option of temperature-controlled units, which can offer air conditioning if needed.

7. What type of security does the unit offer?

This is probably one of the most important questions to consider. Is there a fence or a gate surrounding the entire facility? Is the fence in good shape? Are there security cameras posted around the property in case of a burglary. How often does the manager or groundskeeper scan the area to make sure that the storage units have not been meddled with in any way? What will happen if there is some sort of emergency? Are the units safe from pests? These are all things that you will want to consider before renting the unit.

8. What can/can’t I store in the storage unit?

Lastly, before you pack up and move on into the storage unit, you will want to check the facility’s policies to make sure that everything you are bringing is appropriate. Some facilities ban items that produce odors, like candles or cleaning products; perishables, including pet food; and flammable and corrosive materials.

While this list is not all inclusive, you will still want to check with your facility to make sure that it can meet all of your storage needs.

Tamiera is a senior at Florida State University, studying Editing, Writing & Media and Digital Media Production. When she's not geeking out about movies and puppy videos, she's on her way to a career in screenwriting, while working intensely to finish a few novels before graduation. Besides writing, Tamiera is otherwise obsessed with Coldplay, feminism, dystopian novels, and various types of junk food. She hopes to see one of her works on the silver screen and eventually finish an entire tube of Chapstick.

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