What If Your Stuff is in Someone Else’s Storage Unit?

This idea of having your stuff in someone else’s storage unit may seem appealing to you. If you’re moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, have roommates, or you and a family member both need storage, sharing a storage unit makes sense. However, there’s a lot of thought to be put into this decision before making it. We’re going to run through some scenarios for you to help you decide what’s best for you

Here’s Why Sharing a Storage Unit Or Having Your Stuff In Someone Else’s is a Bad Idea

Logistically, it just doesn’t make sense. Check out the questions below and see if you’ve thought through everything.

Whose name will be on the rental agreement?

Whoever’s name is listed on the rental agreement is the sole owner of the unit and its contents.

Meet Chris and Becky: Happy boyfriend and girlfriend looking to move in together.

Becky signs the lease for the unit and Chris puts his super comfy couch and entertainment system in there while they’re apartment hunting. Then something goes wrong and they break up. So, what happens next because they’re sharing a storage unit?

Chris goes into the office of Moove In Self Storage and says, “Hi, I’m Chris. My girlfriend Becky rented a unit for both of us. We broke up and she has the key to the unit. I need to get in there to get my stuff out, can you let me in?” The manager will look at the account, see that his name isn’t on the lease, and has to tell him no. Not only that, but we do not have access to your storage unit – only you have the keys to your lock. Then the manager will take a red lock and put it on the storage unit until Becky comes into the office to change the security code and put a new lock on the door.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “But that’s not fair! Chris’s stuff is in that unit!”

Well, for one thing, the manager has no real way of knowing that for sure. And for another, Chris should have thought about that before he let someone else store his things in their name. The only way he will get his things back is if he works it out with Becky. But one thing’s for sure, he won’t be given access by a Moove In Self Storage employee. You never know what the future holds, even for married couples. Breakups and divorce can be a messy process, and we’re not lawyers or couples’ counselors, so we go by the book; “Is your name on the lease? No? Then we cannot grant you access.” I know it sounds a bit nasty, but let’s look at another angle, shall we?

What if one of them wanted revenge on their ex? Or, what if one of them was just a thief who happened to find out about the shared unit and was trying to take advantage of the situation? Would you want us to give out your information then or have access to your storage unit? We didn’t think so. Every property manager will say the same thing, “You should never store someone else’s belongings in your storage unit, and you should never store your belongings in someone else’s storage unit.” You open up quite the can of metaphorical worms by doing so. The comforting thing about this situation is this: You will never have to worry about one of our property managers giving out your information to anyone other than you.

Who will pay the bill?

The bill is to be paid by the customer whose name is on the rental agreement. Should they not make payment by the due date, access is denied, a lien is placed on the account and it may be processed at the auction. It doesn’t matter if you’re sharing the storage unit with someone and you pay them your half. If the full payment isn’t made to the company, it doesn’t count.

Meet Joe, Ken, and Adam: The Roommates.

Joe works full-time, Ken and Adam work part-time. Since Adam has more free time at his job, he stops in to get a storage unit for the three of them. He signs the rental agreement and pays to set up the account. He tells his roommates how much the rent will be and they decide to split it three ways. Over the next month, all three guys put various personal possessions and furniture into the storage unit. After a few months, Ken gets behind on his bills and isn’t able to pay Adam for his part of the rent anymore. Adam tells his property manager that he doesn’t have the full amount to pay for the rent that month.

What happens? The property manager says, “Sorry, no partial payments.”. When the rent is late, the property manager puts a red lock on the unit and denies access. Now Adam has to pay Ken’s part of the bill or else he doesn’t get access to his stuff. Why? Because Adam is the only person listed on the rental agreement. He is the only one contracted to pay for and utilize the storage unit.

So after a month goes by without payment, Adam receives a certified letter saying a lien has been placed on the unit and he has to pay or his unit will be auctioned. Adam got stuck with the bill because Ken couldn’t pay. It’s a bad situation. It’s one that could have been avoided if the guys had each just gotten their own storage unit. We have storage units small enough to accommodate just about any need – so why risk it?

What if that person dies?

Meet Sarah and Abby: Mother and daughter.

Sarah is moving into a retirement home and puts a bunch of things in a storage unit that Abby doesn’t have room for anymore. Abby also puts some of her own things in the storage unit because she knows her mom won’t mind. Fast forward several years, and Sarah passes away. Abby now wants access to the storage unit to get both her and her mother’s things out. As soon as the property manager hears of Sarah’s passing, they must put a red lock on the unit and deny access to anyone who shows up. Why? Because it’s the law.

To protect the rights and belongings of the deceased, property managers cannot allow access to anyone who is not the tenant, their P.O.A., or the executor of their will/estate. Until someone shows up with a short certificate issued by the county courthouse department of wills, no one is allowed access to that unit, and payments must still be made. So Abby can’t get to her personal belongings unless she’s the executor of the estate, and if she isn’t, she has no real authority to have anything to do with the storage unit or its contents. The rental agreement states that the person who signs is the sole owner of the unit and its contents.

So, what have we learned?

You probably could share a unit with someone, if you are okay with taking the risk along with it. However, we still wouldn’t recommend it. Since we have storage units of all sizes and types, it would be much less hassle for you to take out your own storage unit rather than sharing with a friend or family member.

We’ve seen all sorts of messy situations arise from poor judgment and every one of them could have been avoided. Talk to your property manager about your situation to see what will be the best course of action for you. We want your storage experience with Moove In Self Storage to be the best, so we’ll do our best to make sure that happens.

If you now realize you need to get your own storage unit, you can rent one online. Or, you can contact your property manager for more information.

18 thoughts on “What If Your Stuff is in Someone Else’s Storage Unit?”

  1. No, it doesn’t count. It’s in her name, so it’s her unit and she can deny you access at any time. You’d have to bring those receipts and take her to court for your belongings.

  2. Storage unit is in my name I had mine and now ex’s wife’s stuff in it. I have been paying for 3 years and now since divorced got my stuff out but hers is still in it. Do I get just let it go and let them know I’m not paying on it anymore. What could they do to me.

  3. If you discontinue your rental while there are still items in the unit, those items will be auctioned off. We recommend you speak to your ex-wife and let her know when you will be discontinuing your rental to allow her time to collect her things from the unit.

  4. My nan has kicked me out and my stuff is at hers as I’m currently couch surfing, she has threatened to put my stuff in a storage locker and make me pay for it. What should I do as I can’t afford a storage locker nor do I have anywhere to put my stuff

  5. Storage units are an affordable option for short-term and long-term storage, especially when you are moving. You can check our locations to find the best deal on an affordable unit to keep your things safe and secure.

  6. What is you have the code to the gate and the key to the unit. Can you get in trouble if you go take your things out but the unit is not in your name?

  7. We don’t recommend storing your belongings in someone else’s storage unit unless your name is on the lease.

  8. Stored items in a supossed “friends” unit while homeless. I know they’ve fallen behind on payments before and I repeatedly asked for the info so I could go pay it and they always say they will but never give it to me. Now they are just flat out maliciously ignoring me leading me to believe it’s been auctioned and I’m just screwed. With a paper trail confirming my repeated request to move my things out and offers of payments, what legal recourse do I have against them for intentionally withholding my things?

  9. Unfortunately, the items in a storage unit belong to the owner of the unit, so we will not be able to help you gain access to the items without the owner of the unit.

  10. I was helping a lady move and when I took the U-Haul to the storage the storage was put in my name after the storage was full I’m the only one that has paid anything on it yet it is her belongings she hasn’t paid me for that or paid me for moving her can I keep the belongings legally and sell them

  11. If you and another person get a storage unit and store both your stuff in there and the other person doesn’t pay their half of the rent and you have to come up with all of the rent for the storage unit do you have to continue to store their stuff and how long do you have to wait for them to pay you their half to give them their stuff or can you just get rid of their stuff

  12. What if a storage unit is in my sons name but the car we are storing is in my name, and I refuse to pay for the unit anymore. Can the storage company come after me for abandoning my car?

  13. So I am the alternate contact on a. storage unit I have shared with a friend for a few years. It is in his name and he passed away. I have taken my stuff out now but they say I am responsible for his stuff. I told them about his death and they want me to get his death certificate so it can be put in my name. I’m not family and don’t have access to it and don’t want to be responsible for it. Am I responsible in any way now that my stuff is out?

  14. We don’t recommend storing your belongings in someone else’s storage unit unless your name is on the lease. If the rent is not paid, and the contents of the unit are sold at auction then the car will be sold as well.

  15. Hey zackery let me know when you get the answer to that question cause im going through that very same thing!!

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