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Rent Control for Self-Storage: What You Need to Know as an Operator

Mar 21, 2024

As a self-storage operator, staying informed about potential legislative changes is crucial to ensuring the success and sustainability of your business. Recently, discussions surrounding rent control in the self-storage industry have sparked interest and concern among operators across the country. We delve into the nuances of rent control, explore the current legal landscape, and shed light on what operators need to know to navigate these potential challenges effectively.

Is There Rent Control Coming?

While historically exempt from rent control measures primarily targeting residential properties, the self-storage industry has seen increased scrutiny from legislators in various states, such as New York, New Jersey, and Texas. Proposed bills regulating rent increases for self-storage units have raised questions about the potential impact on operators and customers. While no widespread rent control measures have been implemented yet, operators must stay proactive in monitoring legislative developments. One great resource is the Self Storage Association (SSA); an organization committed to protecting, educating, and uniting those a part of the self-storage industry.

What Are the Laws Around Increasing Rates?

The laws governing rent increases for self-storage units vary by state and locality. Operators can adjust rental rates in some jurisdictions as needed, while others may impose restrictions or require advance notice of rate changes. Understanding the laws and regulations applicable to your area is crucial for ensuring compliance and maintaining positive customer relationships. The best way to learn about the laws and regulations is by checking in with your local SSA. If you don’t have one in your area, the national SSA website can be an excellent resource.

Are Owners Able to Increase Rates Whenever They Want?

While operators generally have the autonomy to adjust rental rates for self-storage units, it's essential to approach rate increases with transparency and fairness. Communicating any changes to your customers in advance and providing clear justification for rate adjustments can help mitigate potential conflicts and foster trust and satisfaction among your clientele. However, laws can vary from state to state, so be sure to refer to the rental agreements you have in place, which should include a notice period for contract changes.

Are There Different State Laws?

Indeed, the laws governing self-storage operations can vary significantly from one state to another. Varying factors specific to each state can easily affect laws pertaining to self-storage. For example, California has implemented pricing-gouging laws for businesses, including self-storage facilities, following Governor Gavin Newsom's declaration of a state of emergency due to winter storms. At its core, the laws prohibit raising prices by more than 10% of pre-event levels and are effective for 30 days, or 180 days for certain services.

State laws can change faster than you think, that’s why it’s critically important operators familiarize themselves with the specific regulations in their area and ensure compliance with all legal requirements. Engaging with industry associations and staying informed about legislative developments can help operators navigate the complexities of state-specific laws effectively.

Navigating the Future of Self-Storage Legislation

Here at White Label Storage, we encourage operators in the self-storage industry to stay vigilant and informed about potential legislative changes, including rent control measures. By staying abreast of the current legal landscape, understanding the laws governing rate increases, and actively engaging with industry associations and policymakers, we can effectively navigate these challenges and continue to provide exceptional service to our customers.

As a third-party manager, we prioritize compliance with all legal requirements and ensure that every facility we manage operates within the bounds of the law. With our expertise and attention to detail, you can trust us to keep your business aligned with state regulations and provide peace of mind for both you and your customers.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and you should always consult with an attorney if you have any legal questions.