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    Jeff, We purchased a facility from an owner that has had it since the 1980's [in California]. THeir practice, which we have kept up, is to overlock units as they are late. Late charges, Pre-lien, Lien letters, advertising cut lock all follows CA Guidlines though. Is this practice wrong? We arent in an area where we can charge a customer a deposit of 1 mos .. so this is the only way to really determine they come in and see us when we are late. Some things i have recently read online state that we cannot overlock someone either til the Pre-lien process starts [14 days] or in some cases when 30 days late. Can you clear this up for me?

  • #2
    I am not as smart as Jeff, but I have read the California Lien Laws.

    It states that you can not deny access to a storage unit until it is over 30 days late.

    You can overlock the unit as long as there is someone around to unlock the unit when the tenant wants access. After 30 days you can deny any access to unit until the balance is paid.

    We do gate lockout at 5 days and overlock at 30 days. With the gate lockout they can still walk in (after checking in at the office) to access their unit and if they decide to hand carry everything out at that time I can not stop them.
    I can glare at them, I can make rude comments, but I can not stop them.

    In my opinion if they are that much of a low life as they want to hand carry all their precious crap out to avoid paying rent - WHOO HOOO -- I don't need them! And now I don't have to wait 3 months and try to get someone to pay $5.00 to haul the crap away!

    Anyway - just my .02c
    Wayne
    Jamestown, ND


    All arguments can be resolved ... with high explosives and Humor!!!

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    • #3
      In the State of California , we can only overlock a tenant when the final lien notice has been sent out. Now that not saying that you can not take them out of the gate access program. Meaning they would have to come into the office to get through the gate. You are not denying them access to the stored property.

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      • #4
        Our computer program locks out on the 11th, we give our tenants 10 days to pay. I have never once overlocked a tenant with a padlock, I rely on my alarm system to let me know if someone has gotten through the gate and opened a unit without entering the proper code. It has happened a couple if times with locked out tenants following somebody else through a gate, and the shrieking of the sirens have been more of an embarrassment and deterrent to them than anything else. I make my way down there in the golf cart and explain to them that they need to pay their balance as the alarms are ringing. Both times I had a passenger back to the office and they paid up.

        Periodically I like my alarms to fire off, I want the tenants to know it works, it's embarrassing for them, and most importantly that I respond. Hearing those sirens keeps everybody on their toes around here.
        In no way affiliated with Storman software.

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        • #5
          Storman, we have alarmed units here too. Is there someone on property 24/7? What do you do if someone gate jumps and you are at the movies or grocery shopping or out to dinner?

          Our sirens only last about 15 seconds, then they stop. So we have to overlock because there isn't someone here 24/7.

          Also, when we show an empty unit, the alarm goes off. It's a GREAT way to close a sale, because we are the only ones on this side of town who have alarms, and listening to the alarm go off when we open a storage unit door to show the unit to a prospective tenant usually convinces them that this is the safest place to store their stuff...especially if they go check out the competitor's.

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          • #6
            Nobody's here 24/7, but my family lives onsite, my father lives in a house onsite, my sister and her family live in a house onsite, my contractor rents a house onsite and I have a rental unit onsite. Next door to the main office is another family owned business with employees going in and out all day.

            Everybody perks up when the alarm fires, and they ring for 60 seconds. We stopped alarming vacant units, only because it is really annoying when you have a customer with you, and a minute is a LONG time with that thing in your ears. Also, if they ring too much we felt they would be like the car alarms at the mall, nobody even glances over at those anymore.

            Nobody dares gate jump, we also have 16 very large and obvious cameras located around the facility and all tenants have a nice view of those camera images when they come to the office.

            One night the alarm fired on a delinquent unit at 2:30am, after struggling to wake up and get to the video monitor, I watched a young tenant scamper over a fence and get hung up on some barbed wire. I could see who it was and knew by the activity report he had just opened his own unit and obviously wasn't emptying it out. I waited about 10 minutes and then called his home number. Funny thing is he answered at 2:40am! I asked him if he was injured by the barbed wire, and he answered "no, why do you ask?". As if that would be your response to a random question at 2:40 in the morning if you weren't guilty....

            Duh.

            Turns out he needed his snowboard for an early morning trip to Tahoe with some friends. I explained to him that if he had enough for a lift ticket, he had enough to pay me. He understood, but a lift ticket was more fun. I bet it wasn't as fun with some torn up arms from the barbs though. He eventually came in and paid and we actually had a bit of a chuckle about it. He said he had forgotten about the alarms and when they went off he nearly soiled himself, threw his snowboard over the fence damaging it, and then jumped over as quickly as he could, scratching himself all up.

            I figured he paid the price.
            In no way affiliated with Storman software.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Storman View Post
              Nobody dares gate jump, we also have 16 very large and obvious cameras located around the facility and all tenants have a nice view of those camera images when they come to the office.


              I guess people in Florida are just more daring...we have all that too....we even have cameras over the gate entrance and exit keypads....but we still get gatejumpers almost daily, in broad daylight. The best part is when they follow someone in, see the red lock on their unit, and then are stuck at the gate waiting for someone else to come along and let them out.

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              • #8
                Revenge is sweet, Lisa.

                Bob (Astro)
                Bob Taylor (Astro)
                Blue Ridge Self Storage
                Cashiers, NC

                Disclaimer: What Gina said....'cause the the cheese fell of my cracker.

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                • #9
                  Section 21703 California Business and Professions Code

                  Regarding items which must be in the pre-lien notice:

                  (b) A statement that the occupant's right to use the storage space
                  will terminate on a specified date (not less than 14 days after the
                  mailing of the notice) unless all sums due are paid by the occupant
                  prior to the specified date.

                  So, the overlock date is a minimum of 14 days past the prelien date which is a minimum of 14 days late. So you can overlock as soon as 28 days late. But keep in mind the date printed doesnt make any difference. It is the date the letters are deposited in the US mail.
                  The views expressed on this posting are not necessarily the views of anyone, including me. Nothing in this message should be construed as advice to anyone, nor should it give the impression that I actually know what I'm talking about.

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