An Introduction to New York Self Storage Laws

Updated on April 6, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.

When consumers just cannot store it all anymore, consumers often move their belongings to self-storage facilities. What they fail to realize are the laws for self storage allow those facilities to sell the property when rent is past due.
When consumers just cannot store it all anymore, consumers often move their belongings to self-storage facilities. What they fail to realize are the laws for self storage allow those facilities to sell the property when rent is past due. | Source

Did you know that New York self storage facilities can sell your property if you fail to pay the rent on time? What does the NY Code say you can do to halt a sale? What are your rights if the stored property has been sold? What are New York's laws on self storage facilities?

This Article Answers 3 Questions About NY's Self-Storage Laws

  1. What Are New York's Laws on Self-Storage Facility Contracts?
  2. What Are New York's Laws on Storage Facility Liens?
  3. Are there Any Quirks in the New York State Laws

What Are New York's Laws on Self Storage Facility Contracts?

Self-storage businesses in New York can specify a liability in their contracts. The liability could be per room size or a capped dollar amount beyond which the owner is not liable. This liability must be included in the occupancy agreement to be valid. The owner can charge a higher monthly fee if the person’s property is especially valuable. Owners must state up front if the contract is for one unit or multiple units.

NY's Requirements for Occupancy Agreements for Self Storage Units

  • Must be written, dated, and signed by both the owner or his agent and the occupant.
  • All disclosures must have the name and address of both the owner and the occupant and the street address of the self-storage location where the property will be stored.
  • New York law requires all disclosure forms to have the phone number occupants use to reach someone when they have questions about their property, fees, or notices received from the rental facility.
  • Occupancy agreements must give the occupancy charge and any additional charges occupants must pay. Additional charges include both optional ones like insurance and mandatory ones like utility fees for temperature controlled units and applicable sales taxes.
  • If the valuation of the property is increased, the self-storage facility owner must send a letter to the occupant with the increased valuation, the higher monthly rate proposed and a pre-addressed request form that the occupant can use to request the higher rate. Owners of self-storage in NYC cannot simply increase the monthly rate per a perceived increased value of the property in the storage unit.

Sometimes you need to move the storage boxes out of your home to keep pests out of them.
Sometimes you need to move the storage boxes out of your home to keep pests out of them. | Source

New York Laws on Storage Facility Liens

Self-storage facility owners have a lien against the property stored at the facility for current charges to date and future ones that may be accrued. While the monthly rental fee is the most common charge associated with the lien, the owner can also charge security fees, utility fees and other reasonable fees to protect and secure the property. The lien is secured only to the property at the self-storage facility.

In NY Can the Occupant Challenge the Lien in Court?

  • The lien sale can be challenged per section 7-210 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
  • If the court invalidates the lien, the occupant is entitled to the property.
  • If the owner establishes the validity of the lien, the sale can go forward five days after a copy of the judgment is made available.
  • The occupant can pay the lien balance and redeem the property prior to the sale.
  • Self storage facilities are legally required to surrender the occupant’s property when the amount owed has been paid. Failure to do so is considered an unlawful detention of goods and is a legally actionable offense. If the court finds that the occupant’s goods were subject to unlawful detention, the occupant can sue for up to three times the damages they suffered and any legal fees they have accrued.
  • If you own self-storage in NYC, never hold someone’s property for ransom for money they do not owe or out of malice; it will cost you dearly.

The New York court case “Matter of Lewitin vs. Manhattan Mini Storage” confirmed that a single phone call to inform the client is insufficient. Multiple attempts must be made to reach the client must be made, including at least one certified letter.

Are There Any Quirks in New York State Law on Self-Storage?

  • The state of New York requires all warehouses to have a license except for the self-storage industry. However, self-storage facilities can choose to have a license.
  • Self-storage facilities should have insurance.
  • A self-storage in NYC cannot contract with other self-storage facilities to assume part of the liability for an occupant’s loss. This was determined by the New York State Insurance Department, Office of General Counsel, in opinion number 11-04-03.

Questions & Answers

  • If I purchase a storage unit at auction, what do I have to return to the previous owner?

    Assuming we're not talking about a service member who has extra protections when their items are in storage, you probably are not required to return things (in most states). It would be considerate to return personal documents, jewelry, and other items. If you're not sure of the legality, you can contact the unclaimed property of your office and hand it to them.

  • How is it legal to be to charged insurance on my tiny rental?

    The self-storage company can require you to have property insurance of some kind. What they cannot do is force you to buy it through them. They have to let you get insurance for the value of the contents through a third party.

  • How can it be legal to charge me pre-lien fees?

    A pre-lien fee is the start of the legal fees due for them having to take possession of the unit for non-payment.

  • I’m being charged insurance, pre-lien fees and less than 30 day late fees - is this legal?

    If you are late paying the monthly bill, late fees are always reasonable. Insurance is something they can mandate, just as a landlord may require tenants to have renter's insurance.

  • Can a storage unit owner keep personal items that were in storage unit for themselves, or are they required to sell items at auction?

    They are supposed to sell the items at auction to raise money to pay off the debt, the money you haven't paid in storage fees.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)