What Happens When The Storage Space Bill Is Not Paid–Part I

Nevadans have seen some tough financial times.  Record numbers of defaults on houses have resulted in record numbers of foreclosures and property devaluation.  This also happens in the world of private property.  Homes and land are referred to as “real property”, and objects we keep are referred to as “private property”.

Someone storing private property such as antiques, files, photos, furniture, collectibles, antiques, cars, boats, RVs, clothing and more has to pay the monthly bill just like one has to do with the monthly mortgage, or else someone will take the property away.

Nevada statutes and the contracts renters fill out with the storage facility outline the respective rights, duties and obligations of both the storage facility and the renter.  If the renter does not pay the storage unit payment, a series of things occur.  Ultimately, if after the storage facility owner gives the proper notices, it can sell the contents of the storage unit to pay off the bill that continues to accrue for the term of the contract.

The law considers the storage facility owner to have a lien on the contents in order to get the bill paid.  The laws vary from state to state on how the lien is created, handled and executed.

In Nevada, the statutes that apply to storage rental are found at NRS 108.473 through 108.4783.  Also, a good review of the storage contract and documents signed at the initial time of rental and at any renewal times will tell you most of what you need to know.

Nevada law requires that every storage rental agreement contain the following language:

1. Each rental agreement must be in writing and must contain:

(a) A provision printed in a size equal to at least 10-point type that states, “IT IS UNLAWFUL TO USE A STORAGE SPACE IN THIS FACILITY AS A RESIDENCE.”

(b) A statement that the occupant’s personal property will be subject to a claim for a lien and may be sold or disposed of if the rent or other charges described in the rental agreement remain unpaid for 14 consecutive days.

(c) A provision requiring the occupant to:

(1) Disclose to the owner any items of protected property in the storage space.

(2) If the occupant is subject to mandatory licensing, registration, permitting or other professional or occupational regulation by a governmental agency, board or commission and the protected property to be stored is related to the practice of that profession or occupation by the occupant, provide written notice to that agency, board or commission stating that the occupant is storing protected property at the facility, identifying the general type of protected property being stored at the facility and providing complete contact information for the facility. The occupant shall give the owner a copy of any written notice provided to such an agency, board or commission.

(3) Provide complete contact information for a secondary contact who may be contacted by the owner if the owner is unable to contact the occupant.

2. If any provision of the rental agreement provides that an owner, lessor, operator, manager or employee of the facility, or any combination thereof, is not liable, jointly or severally, for any loss or theft of personal property stored in a storage space at the facility, the provision is unenforceable unless:

(a) The rental agreement contains a statement advising the occupant to purchase insurance for any personal property stored in a storage space at the facility and informing the occupant that such insurance is available through most insurers;

(b) The provision and the statement are:

(1) Printed in all capital letters or, if the rental agreement is printed in all capital letters, printed in all capital letters and boldface type, italic type or underlined type; and

(2) Printed in a size equal to at least 10-point type or, if the rental agreement is printed in 10-point type or larger, printed in type that is at least 2 points larger than the size of type used for other provisions of the rental agreement; and

(c) The provision is otherwise enforceable pursuant to the laws of this state.

3. NRS 108.473 to 108.4783, inclusive, do not apply and the lien for charges for storage does not attach unless the rental agreement contains a space for the occupant to provide the name and address of an alternative person to whom the notices under those sections may be sent. The occupant’s failure to provide an alternative address does not affect the owner’s remedies under those sections.

4. The parties may agree in the rental agreement to additional rights, obligations or remedies other than those provided by NRS 108.473 to 108.4783, inclusive. The rights provided in those sections are in addition to any other rights of a creditor against a debtor.

(Added to NRS by 1983, 1666; A 1989, 213; 1997, 921; 2011, 1826)

Because the secondary contact person can and will be contacted in case of default on the monthly payment, it is always a good idea to keep this updated with the storage unit owner.

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