View Poll Results: What do you do to prevent renters from living in your storage units?

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  • Require proof of physical address at time of rental

    2 18.18%
  • Use security cameras

    7 63.64%
  • Monitor in person during access hours/shorten access hours

    9 81.82%
  • Other/please describe in thread response

    3 27.27%
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Thread: People living in storage units

  1. #1
    eweech is offline Junior Member
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    Default People living in storage units

    This one's for facility managers:
    I'm conducting freelance research/article writing for http://www.usstoragenews.com.
    Topic is: There's a current trend of people living in storage units because they cannot afford housing. There was an interesting article about this recently at http://www.heraldextra.com/news/stat...399859d59.html
    Questions for you: Have you had any of these experiences? How did you feel about it? What did you do? What can you do to prevent people living in the units?
    Last edited by eweech; 1st May 2012 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Fixed link
    Erin Weech

  2. #2
    MamaDuke's Avatar
    MamaDuke is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: People living in storage units

    When I first started in storage 4 years ago, I found 1 woman living in her unit. She was immediately given 48 hours to vacate the premises. I spoke with her that day. She had been living in the space for over a year. The nights that she didn't sleep in the unit, she was sleeping in a porta-potty near her job! She would use the restroom outside our office to wash up as soon as we opened in the mornings. She didn't have a car to sleep in. She rode around on a bike.

    All this while the manager I replaced was busy doing everything EXCEPT pay attention to the property he was supposed to be managing!!! It took me 2 weeks of learning the ropes to notice it!
    MamaDuke

    The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure very much.

  3. #3
    dennybeall is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: People living in storage units

    We aren't in an area that has this problem but we do have a few things to prevent the problem. We do have a bathroom for tenants But it only has cold water. Also all interior lights are on motion detectors and shut off ptretty quick if no motion. The drives are well lighted all night and we have a security camera setup that is recorded and monitored remotely via the internet. We glance at the gate software in the am and that tells us if someone came in and didn't log out last night.
    Also I check the cameras at night before I hit the rack.
    Karen and Denny Beall
    Diamond Self Storage
    Nature Coast of Florida

  4. #4
    Lisa T's Avatar
    Lisa T is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: People living in storage units

    Quote Originally Posted by dennybeall View Post
    We do have a bathroom for tenants But it only has cold water.

    We had the electrical breaker to the water heater to the outside bathroom turned off in Florida, and that worked great, having only cold water in the outside bathroom.

    I also check the gate logs in the morning to see if anyone came in but didn't leave. We don't have that much traffic in here after office hours, so it only takes a second.

  5. #5
    itsjustme is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: People living in storage units

    We have had several instances in the past 4 years of people trying to live out of their units. In my opinion the biggest deterent to this happening is making sure you actually pay attention to how long people are staying in the facility - especially at night. If it appears that some people are staying in the facility for hours at a time (and they aren't a business who is working out of their unit) then it warrants some extra attention. We have a rule at our complex that states no tenant can be inside of their unit with their door fully down. Outside doors can be half way down if the weather is bad to prevent wind or rain entering the unit, but by having this rule we can tell people we suspect of sleeping in their unit that they MUST have their door open at all times which of course would mean we could visibily see in the unit any time they are in it. They never know when we may walk by and see what they are doing.

    We also spend time during the initial customer visit explaining how diligent we are about watching our facility, how we do random security checks, and how we have video cameras recording 24 hours a day. I am always sure to tell each new tenant that we also have many tenants in the building who help to watch it for us and let us know when something seems odd or is someone is being suspicious. I really believe in making people understand right up front before even renting with us that we aren't going to let many things slip by us. I think that makes some of those questionable people choose NOT to rent with me which means I may lose a rental but I will also have lost the headache of having to later deal with someone who wants to break the rules all the time.

    Just my two cents worth

  6. #6
    DebT's Avatar
    DebT is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: People living in storage units

    In addition to the ususal, lights, cameras, action (sorry I couldn't resist) by the manager, I also check my Falcon Gate reports for unusual activity.

  7. #7
    FHARumRunner is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: People living in storage units

    The key to prevention has always been awareness. Pay attention to your property even if you don't own it, and you will have fewer problems.
    The End Is Near!

  8. #8
    SMSSId's Avatar
    SMSSId is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: People living in storage units

    That easy!
    Locks, Locks, Locks and alarms

 

 
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