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Tips for signing a storage rental agreement

It doesn’t matter if you’re renting a storage unit for a short or longer period of time. You will have to sign a contract with the company you’re renting from. And since it’s not that uncommon that people don’t understand the papyrology, signing this contract can be stressful. So, here are some tips for signing a storage rental agreement that will hopefully help you understand what you’re signing. Or at least, prepare you for papyrology.

Where you can rent storage

First of all, there are two ways you can rent a storage unit. You can either rent it from a company that only lends storage units or from some of many moving companies in Skokie IL that also offer a service of renting a storage unit. But either way, what’s important is that you sign a contract with them. In case you’re moving and you want to rent a storage unit from your movers, you can request that you sign a storage rental agreement separately from your moving contract.

What to do before signing a storage rental agreement

But before you sign anything, you should make sure that the company you are renting a storage unit from is legit. Signing a storage rental agreement with a fraudulent company won’t protect you in any way. A storage rental agreement is valid and gives you protection only if the company is legal. So, the first tip for signing a storage rental agreement and avoiding a scam is to check out the company.

How to make sure a company is legit

If you look it up on the Internet, you’ll see that there are many tips for how to make sure that a company is legit. So, I’ll try to be brief. And name only two sources where you can find the information you can trust.

Source number 1

Your best shot at making sure that a company is not fraudulent is by searching for it at the Best Business Bureau’s website. The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization that aims to build trust in the marketplace. That is why you can find many useful information on their website. Provided that the said company is accredited by the Best Business Bureau, of course.

Paper with "A+" on it
The Better Business Bureau uses a grade-system that is used in schools.

That means that all of the companies on their website can have a grade from F to A+. When a company has an A+ grade that’s a sign that the Better Business Bureau is confident that the said company is trustworthy. And it’s not like you only have to trust them blindly. You can actually see all of the complaints that have been filed against a company. But it doesn’t end there, you can also see how the complaint has been dealt with.

Source number 2

If, however, you’re renting a storage unit from a moving company then there’s another place you can use. You can search the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website and check out if the moving company is legit. If a company is indeed legit, you will find it in their register. And it will have its own USDOT number. This website is also neat for finding information about safety, insurance, performance, complaint details, and company details.

A road sign
But there’s a catch!

You should be aware of one thing. By law, every moving company that provides a long-distance move must have the USDOT number. When we’re talking about moving companies that work only locally or in one state then this law varies from state to state. Therefore, before you say a moving company is a fraudulent check the law in your state.

Signing a storage rental agreement 101

Now let’s finally get into what you can expect when you’re signing a storage rental agreement. This agreement is basically a place where you can find all the important payment information, term, and conditions. For an agreement to be valid it has to be signed by both parties because both parties, in other words, both you and storage units Skokie must follow those terms and conditions that they agreed on. Apart from this information, a storage rental agreement provides also contact information and the start and the end date of the agreement.

Sections of a storage rental agreement

There are four sections in which terms are described in detail. Here are two sections that will interest you the most.

Payments sectionhere you can find the amount of your rent and the due date. There should be also at least a small section dedicated to late payments. But also to what happens if you don’t pay at all. Common praxis is that the company you’re renting a storage unit from auctions your belongings. So, if you want to escape that you should negotiate with them this part of the contract before you sign a storage rental agreement. Some agreements also state the amount for a security deposit and the due date for it, the amount for other possible fees in case anything unexpected happens.

Money - Tips for signing a storage rental moving contract
So, that was the part of the contract where you can find all about the finances

The section about how to use a storage unithere you can find information about what is prohibited to keep in storage. Those are things like toxic waste, flammable liquids, food and so on. Furthermore, if there are special conditions for storing items, for example, you must put your books in moving boxes, they should be written in this section. Since in most storage warehouses you have to leave a clean storage unit behind you, this section can often contain details about cleanliness.

Understanding legal jargon when signing a storage rental agreement

In the end, we’d like to give you a few terms that you’ll probably stumble upon when signing a storage rental agreement.

  • Pledge of personal property – if you don’t pay the rent then the company can keep or sell your belongings
  • Indemnification – if you decide to sue the company then you’ll have to pay for it
  • Exemption from liability – this one clears the company from responsibility in case you hurt yourself in your storage unit or if something or someone damages your belongings. So pay closer attention to insurance when signing a storage rental agreement

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