With over 54,000 self-storage facilities, the U.S is the undisputed leader in the public storage industry. This is a multi-billion dollar industry with annual public storage revenue standing at $22 billion as of 2015. Occupancy rates stand at 87.4% indicating high demand for storage units. In such a vibrant industry, there is bound to be unscrupulous players out to dupe consumers looking for storage.
There are many reasons people are looking for self-storage both in big cities such as Seattle and smaller towns. Household owners moving to the city use self-storage to safely store items that cannot fit into their new home. Small business owners, on the other hand, are forced to look for cheaper storage for their inventory, documents, and equipment.
Tips to Avoid Self-Storage Scams
If you are looking for a public storage Seattle unit, it is advisable to be on the lookout for self-storage scams. While this type of scam might not be getting attention from the media, it has already featured as a scam of the day on http://scamicide.com/. This highlights how serious self-storage scams have become. There are more self-storage complaints filed with BBB today than there were in 2012 highlighting the risk for consumers.
To avoid a scam, below are some guidelines you should follow:
- Start With An Online Search
Google and other search engines have made things easier for consumers. With a few clicks, you will get results for the best self-storage facilities in Seattle to enable you to create a shortlist. Read reviews about different storage facilities in the city and testimonials from other tenants. Social media is also a good place to find mentions of local storage companies. You can make a decision based on what you find here.
- Counter check the Contract
Make sure you take the time to read and understand every clause in the written contract. Check for late payments and defaults, your rights and rights of the owner.
- Check The Reputation Of The Storage Facility
Go to the local BBB and check whether the storage company faces any complaints. In addition, check whether the company belongs to the Self Storage Association (SSA) to guarantee the integrity of the company.
- Take A Visual Inspection
This is the most ignored step when searching for a self-storage facility. To avoid a scam, make sure you visit the facility where possible and check its condition. An unkempt compound with no gate of security installations points to an unprofessional company that most likely provides poor service.
- Be Proactive About Inspections
Once you store your items, make sure you make a photo of record and create a written inventory. If you remove or add any items, ensure that you update the inventory. If there are any concerns, report to the on-site manager and see if there is any response. If all your complaints are not addressed, it is time to move your valuables.
Despite the urgency of finding a storage facility, make sure you are cautious enough to avoid a scam that will end up costing you a lot.