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Monday, September 24, 2018
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ADVOCATING ON YOUR BEHALF


What We Do

Florida has more than 2,500 self storage facilities, serving a statewide population of 20.98 million (2017). The Florida Self Storage Association has helped spearhead several changes to lien laws in Florida but some priorities remain.

In 2017, the FSSA was successful in our efforts to remove outdated and archaic lien laws from the books. For example, operators were once required to send official correspondence by certified mail, a process costing an excessive amount of both time and money. Siding with the industry, and the recognition that more modern methods are available, the state legislature of Florida agreed that certified mail was no longer the most assured method of guaranteeing contact with a delinquent customer, now allowing verified mail and in some cases, email notifications. Other recent changes include the ability to charge $20 or 20 percent in late fees, whichever is greater, contractual value limitations and simpler methods for disposing of a vehicle in a lien situation.

The FSSA is ever vigilant in protecting the industry from unnecessary laws or regulations. If you have questions or concerns regarding the industry’s relationship with the government, please feel free to contact us.

Certified Mail

Eliminates the requirement to send lien notifications via certified mail and allows notice to be sent by "verified mail."

Newspaper Advertising

This effort seeks to eliminate or modify the requirement to publish auction notices "in a newspaper of general circulation," as opposed to simply posting online.

Vehicles & Watercraft

Allows the operator to dispose of abandoned vehicles and watercraft more expeditiously, when a tenant has failed to pay.

Email Notifications

Provides operators with the ability to email lien notifications and other official communications.

Contractual Value Limitations

Provides legal protection for contractual limits on the amount or value of contents in a storage unit.

Late Fee Standardization

An industry-wide effort to standardize late fees in the amount of $20 or 20 percent, whichever is greater.

Limited Lines Insurance

Allows licensed operators to sell stored property insurance to their tenants.

Building Codes

Monitoring and/or amending reasonable building code requirements for the industry.

Online Auctions

Provides operators with the ability to hold auctions online as opposed to at your facility.


Reach Out

Please reach out to us if you have an issue or want to notify us about an issue within the self storage community.

 

FLORIDA LIEN LAW

The Florida Self Storage Association, together with the national Self Storage Association has worked on a number of issues to protect and improve the laws that apply to self storage facilities. In 2017, the Florida legislature updated lien law provisions consistent with recent improvements in other states.

The Florida legislature has enacted, and the Governor has signed, a bill (HB 357) that makes a number of significant and positive changes to the Florida Self-storage Facility Act. The bill was a joint effort of the national Self Storage Association and the Florida Self Storage Association. The law took effect on July 1, 2017. The legislation made the following changes to the self storage lien law:

1. Authorizes self storage operators to conduct lien auctions on public websites that customarily conduct personal property auctions.

2. Authorizes self storage operators to charge tenants a late fee that is reasonable and expressly states that a late fee of $20 or 20% of the monthly rent, whichever is greater, is reasonable. The amount of the late fee and the date it will accrue must be stated in the rental agreement. The late fee charged is in addition to all expenses incurred in connection with the collection of rent or enforcement of the lien.

3. Provides that if the rental agreement contains a limit on the value of property stored in the tenant’s space, the rental agreement limit is deemed the maximum value of the stored property.

4. Authorizes the storage operator to have motor vehicles or watercraft towed from the facility when rent and other charges are 60 or more days past due.

Limitation of Value

New section 83.806(9), of the Florida statutes, is especially important. The section provides that if the rental agreement has a limit on the value of property stored in the storage unit, the limit is deemed to be the maximum value of the property stored in the unit. Tenant claims that their stored property had a value in excess of the agreed amount will be difficult to maintain. The paragraph below is a typical limitation of value provision:

LIMITATION OF VALUE: Occupant agrees not to store property with a total value in excess of $5,000 without the written permission of the Owner. If such written permission is not obtained, the value of Occupant’s stored property shall be deemed not to exceed $5,000. Nothing in this paragraph shall constitute any agreement or admission by Owner that Occupant’s stored property has any value, nor shall anything alter the release of Owner’s liability set forth below. [From the Self Storage Legal Network’s Guide to Drafting Your Rental Agreement]

It is good practice to put this provision in bold or underlined type. This is not required by statute but it is an important rental agreement provision and should stand out.

Florida Lien Law