The last 10 years have brought significant changes to self storage lien laws. Forty-nine states now have such laws, with Alaska still living up to its nickname of the Last Frontier. Much of the industry’s focus lately has been on modernizing laws adopted in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s to account for technological and operational changes that have come along since the laws’ initial adoption.
The significance of these laws cannot be overstated. They provide a non-judicial process for operators to enforce lien rights when a tenant fails to pay and often provide additional statutory protections for common provisions in rental agreements. Many industries would love to have laws that permit them to expeditiously enforce their rights. Imagine for a moment if you had to file a lawsuit every time you wanted to enforce your lien rights—as a Louisiana state senator tried to force on operators in her state earlier this year. The industry would look dramatically different if not for self storage lien laws.
Why has the industry had so many legislative successes? Because we are fortunate to have a dedicated group of members and state associations working alongside SSA’s staff to pursue the modernization of these lien laws, the adoption of tenant insurance licensing for self storage businesses, and several other legislative and regulatory efforts for our industry.