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05 Dec 2023

Hot Legal Topics in Self-Storage


Scott Zucker

Founding Partner

It seems like every day a new issue surfaces that impacts self-storage operations, legal compliance and potential business liability. In the last month, these three topics have been circulating and should be a consideration for every self-storage operator. The first is what it means to communicate with your tenants outside of regular business hours, the second is the potential risk of storing lithium and other potentially hazardous batteries in storage and the third is the growing pressure to impose rent control in self-storage.

Florida’s Consumer Collection Practices Act

There is a developing legal compliance issue in Florida whereby the plaintiffs’ bar is pursuing cases against businesses that send out rent notices (invoices, late fees, lien notices) to tenants after posted business hours. Section 559.72(17) of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (“FCCPA”) prohibits communications with a debtor between the hours 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. without the prior consent of the debtor. Recently, we have seen some lawsuits against self-storage operators for alleged violations of this section of the FCCPA for sending rent invoices to tenants via email between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.

Improper Storage of Batteries in Units

Have you noticed the question from baggage handlers about storing any lithium batteries in your luggage on flights? Have you seen the reports of fires in homes and warehouses triggered by improper storage of batteries? Just recently, the press identified a self-storage facility fire in New York for which the culprit was stored e-bikes with lithium batteries.

Rent Control in Self Storage

One of the new focal points for consumer attacks against self-storage facilities is the alleged arbitrary increases in monthly self-storage rents. There have been recent legislative efforts, both in New York and Texas to impose limits on rents (akin to creating rent control in self-storage) impacting both the amount of permitted increases and the frequency of those increases.

This article was originally published in Self Storage Legal Monthly Minute by Scott Zucker, November 2023

Scott Zucker is a founding partner in the Atlanta law firm of Weissmann Zucker Euster Morochnik & Garber P.C. and has been practicing law since 1987. Scott represents self-storage owners and managers throughout the country on legal matters including property development, facility construction, lease preparation, employment policies and tenant claims defense. He also provides, on a consulting basis, advice to self-storage companies in the areas of foreclosure and lien sales, premises liability and loss control safeguards. Scott can be reached at 404-364-4626 or by e-mail at Scott@wzlegal.com.

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