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Do you lock your empty units?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
    No lock but I do put a tag on them. I haven't, as of yet, experienced anyone leaving extra trash in an empty unit or storing overflow contents.
    Here is the reason I don't.
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


    • #17
      In the past I have locked units, currently at this specific site we do not. Reason being they don't have any additional locks, just barely enough redlocks as it is for overlocks and they do not want to order additional locks to lock them. We hang blue seal tags on vacants, but at the same time I've never had an issue at this location with people using the vacant units or moving in to a wrong unit.


      • #18
        We put green tags on units that are ready to rent,


        • #19
          We put yellow locks on everything vacant and use red locks painted green for company units.


          • #20
            Yes we lock our vacant units. It stops people from putting stuff in them. We use yellow locks for vacant units, and red locks for delinquent units. At the first facility I worked at we used green for vacant units.


            • #21
              When I first opened we did not have a gate... at that time I locked all the empties because I was there for each rental. With our last addition we also installed a fence, gate and kiosk. With a kiosk you'll need to have at least some units unlocked and ready for tenant move in. I opted to just unlock all of them. I use Chateau tags on the empties so at a glance I would know if anything were tampered with. So far so good.

              In general though I would agree it's good policy to lock empties for security and dumping prevention reasons.


              • #22
                I have 3 locations 2 of them remote with no office. We put a green zip tie on our empty units after we have inspected them. They are quick release so tenants can removed them easily. I have done this for 26 years now and it has worked good for us. I have had a random issue over the years but not very much.

                Locking my units is not an option with remote locations.


                • #23
                  Originally posted by wc1974 View Post

                  Same here, I wish we could have one more color though for damaged units, like orange maybe? The green locks we use for reserved units, units that need to be cleaned or damaged units. That's too many possibilities for one color.
                  You can spray paint locks. Newer paints seem to hold up well.
                  Joe Krezdorn
                  DAK Self Storage
                  Leesport, PA 19533


                  • #24
                    I run 2 locations.
                    The location that I am at 40 hours weekly, I overlock all vacant units.
                    The 2nd location I am only there when I have confirmed appointments.
                    I use breakaway tags and have a tag on 1 size of my vacant units.
                    Such as 1-5x5
                    1 5x10
                    1 10x10 and so on.
                    I will record the breakaway tag units on my vacant list.
                    Then if someone needs to go and look and I can not get there, I can instruct them how to look at any size that is available.

                    It works for me and may not work for everyone.
                    There is a gate at this location so that the only folks on the property are supposed to be there.

                    Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by tonaselfstore View Post

                      Wow, this is impressive! We swtiched to blue locks 2 years ago when the previous manager was fired but we use one for everything. Having different color locks for each scenario would make my daily inventory a lot easier!!!

                      We use Green tags - Green for Go - clean and ready to rent. Yellow for "caution, needs some work. or on the maintenance list". Red for "naughty naughty you owe us money" and Blue for our company units. The red and blue are locks the Green and yellow are tags.
                      Throw kindness around like Confetti - But don't get glitter in your eyes!


                      • #26
                        We have always locked empty units. Even though they are normal locks, a basic criminal may not know that and hopefully would try breaking into one of our empty units before another unit with a better lock. Any delay or frustration may help make sure everyone elses stuff stays safe. We don't really have a problem here, but try to be proactive.

                        There is a brand new place down the street. They are gated, but no barbed wire and not only don't lock their units, but leave the empty unit door open all year. So when it snows, guess what, the other units get snow in them. Have yet to find a good reason for their thinking on that one.


                        • #27
                          I put small, cheap combination locks on each empty unit that's ready to rent. That way, if I'm offsite and someone needs to move in, I can just tell them "Unit 55 is ready for you; just take of the small lock - its combination is 7-8-9 - and replace it with the brand new disc lock waiting for you inside the unit."

                          (The disc lock is included with their rental and setup fee.) I then ask them to slip the small lock under the door of the maintenance unit.


                          • #28
                            Short answer: absolutely, yes!


                            • #29
                              Yes we lock our units (but I can see a case for both actions). We use the color coded system - green for RTR (ready to rent), blue for needs cleaning, red for damaged and gold (brass) for overlock of unpaid units. Just to fill up the key ring a little more, we have two types of the gold (brass) locks - one from when the facility was opened and a more recent purchase of gold (brass) locks.

                              When I show a unit - I remove the lock before we head back to the office and set it on the counter (if I walked or leave in cart if I drove). Sometimes the customer hem-n-haw's about the rental and my wife can usually close the deal. I do not offer any discounts, she runs the office so I leave it up to her to offer discounts to close the deal. I do this so I do not have to head back out right away to remove a lock if they decide to rent but when I head back out later for something I take the lock with me if there was no rental. I see the attraction of having unlocked units for this - I have only forgotten to take a lock off a rental in 5 years (tenant was in a rush and did not want to see unit) and remembered before they moved in. I have gotten the call on the weekend (on my day off) that a tenant was moving in and the lock was still on the unit - assistant forgot to remove it after sign up.

                              Also, with unlocked units - there are less keys on the ring, in case it goes missing. We do not let the assistant take the key ring home (she has one key to the office door) but she has forgotten to leave it behind once (took it home in a jacket pocket). Also, I have heard of sister-facilities letting the assistant take the whole key ring home, ome person later quit and did not return the key ring.

                              As for locking of MT units - it usually helps in keeping lookie-loo's from being to nosy. As for the previously mentioned trash dump (usually not a problem with tenants) but with auction units. They will try and dump the trash in an MT unit to avoid hauling it away. Also, for the outdoor units, with the lock on - nobody can open the door on a weekend and leave open to the elements (rain, etc).

                              I am very interesting in the breakaway tag idea for RTR units. I am going to look into that for cost-effectiveness (the cost seems very low for one unit of each size tagged and ready to go).


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by KrisinNC View Post
                                Yes-we have four separate colors-blue is for company units-storing equipment, const supplies, boxes/locks etc. Green is for reserved units, yellow is empty-ready to rent (should be clean!) and red is overlock. It makes keeping an eye out easy when you can see, at a glance, the status of the unit.
                                I've always done the same with the small padlocks; green for units ready to rent, red need cleaning, yellow for any other issue with the unit and blue for company unit, etc. I use the big round yelllow locks for overlocked units.
                                Gina 6k
                                VM: Four-Oh-Eight- Seven-Eight-Oh-Eight-Oh-Seven-Nine
                                [email protected]

                                You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
                                I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.


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