Many storage facilities feature security guards, cameras and individually locked units in order to deter people from using storage units as living spaces and help catch anyone who attempts to do so.
Signs that someone is living in a storage unit include an increase in trash (cigarette butts, food wrappers and beverage bottles) as well as requests for electrical outlets – possibly signaling plans to use appliances like heaters.
1. You notice an increase in your power bill
As an owner or manager of a storage facility, it is imperative to heed your gut. If something seems amiss, take steps to make sure everyone involved remains safe – including speaking to tenants or contacting local authorities if necessary. If you observe an increase in power usage from one unit, it could indicate someone living there. An increase could mean they’re using electrical items like cooking appliances and heaters to heat their space; cooking may even include smoking cigarettes in order to create heat inside their storage unit. Smoking cigarettes inside is dangerous because it poses fire hazards that pose significant health hazards for everyone inside and nearby the unit.
People living in storage units may be homeless or experiencing economic difficulty and feel that this is their only means of shelter. Unfortunately, storage facility owners often face heartbreaking decisions regarding renters looking for shelter in these spaces; yet as business owners it’s crucial that we abide by state and local laws regarding live-in tenants and don’t permit live-in renters.
A renter found living in their storage unit will likely be immediately evicted as they violated the terms of their lease (almost every lease prohibits loitering or living in storage units), lose access to their belongings, and face legal action from the facility for illegal occupancy. If children were living there at any point it can constitute child endangerment and lead to child protective services being summoned immediately.
As the owner of a storage facility, you can discourage people from living in their units by being understanding and sympathetic but firm when it comes to loitering or sleeping there. Hiring security staff helps provide more oversight for each unit at your facility so as to catch any squatters immediately and prevent potential disasters from occurring. This is an effective method to deter individuals from living in storage units while helping your facility prevent future disasters from arising.
2. You notice an increase in your trash
Storage units were never intended for human habitation; they lack ventilation, four walls, a door, and sufficient natural lighting. Any attempt at living in one is illegal and potentially life-threatening – carbon monoxide poisoning, mold exposure and fire risk may all pose significant health and safety threats for tenants living there. If your trashcans and dumpsters seem overflowing with cigarettes butts, food wrappers, beverage bottles or any other evidence of human presence inside one of your units, it might be indicative of someone living inside them illegally and illegally living there illegally and risking their health and safety in doing so.
As another sign that they’re living in their unit, if a tenant visits more frequently without making any movements in or out, this should be taken as an indicator that they may be using it as their home. To protect yourself in such cases, clearly state this in your lease agreement and require initialing by renter – this will prevent anyone attempting to use storage units as housing solutions in an emergency or struggling community.
Warning signs should arise when tenants request access to electrical outlets in their storage unit, suggesting they plan on installing appliances such as heaters and microwave ovens in their unit. Be wary of any sudden spike in your electricity bill.
If a tenant is using your storage facility’s restroom facilities excessively, you may notice they are using more toilet paper, soap and paper towels than normal – a clear indication they may be using it as their laundry room and living in their storage unit.
When you notice these indicators, it’s crucial to contact law enforcement as quickly as possible and document any interactions you have with any individuals that appear suspicious on your property. Furthermore, keep accurate records such as gate log entries, surveillance footage footage, keypad operations and other pertinent details regarding their presence and interactions on your premises.
3. You notice an increase in your toiletries
Numerous individuals find themselves living in storage units due to housing unavailability, financial strains, or life’s unexpected events. A storage unit offers an ideal place for these individuals to sleep and store belongings safely until things improve – unfortunately though some individuals make this space their home and break their contract with the facility; some facilities may fail to detect this immediately but there are telltale signs someone is living there that you can watch out for.
One telltale sign of misused storage units could be when tenants start consuming large quantities of toilet paper, soap and paper towels in your onsite restrooms. An increase in use could indicate someone is using their storage unit as both bathroom and kitchen. It is crucial that staff receives training so they can quickly identify any suspicious activities within storage.
When someone begins asking about electrical outlets in their unit, this should be taken as an indicator that they intend to increase comfort by installing appliances like heaters or microwave ovens without permission – violating their lease and risking eviction and possible jail time as a result. If this is indeed the case, they should be informed this action violates their lease and that any violations could lead to immediate eviction and potential jail time penalties – this action must be dealt with swiftly to protect everyone involved from potentially illegal actions being taken against them by management or someone acting on behalf of landlords against whom they may face immediate legal consequences as soon as detected – otherwise actions taken against them may incur prosecution under legal authority against them for violating it or violating it will violate this issue by their landlord/tenant landlord/tenants could face possible jail time charges should this action take place.
If a person cannot leave their storage unit, they will be forced to sleep with limited sunlight or go outdoors during the day to keep warm or cool depending on the season – both scenarios will wreak havoc on their health, leading to depression and anxiety as well as poor hygiene that leads to sicknesses and infections. Furthermore, without access to running water they run the risk of freezing to death during winter or heatstroke in summer.
To effectively terminate their lease agreement with you and prevent further violations, the best step would be to officially end their rental contract in writing and send it either through their registered address or directly. Make sure it clearly states that they are living in your storage unit in breach of their agreement.
4. You notice an increase in your storage space
Many storage facility owners have encountered people living in their units; unfortunately, this often happens on weekends or after-hours when most staff is away from the office and unequipped to deal with it. Without staff present to deal with it immediately, this issue could quickly escalate and create problems across the facility.
Lived-in storage units pose a serious danger for facility owners, as they may contain human waste, drug paraphernalia and other unpleasant materials. Anytime an unwelcome tenant resides in their unit they will be immediately evicted along with losing access to all their items as well as being held liable for any damage they cause to other tenants in the storage facility.
Cluttered facilities may also indicate someone living inside their storage unit secretly; restrooms filled with toilet paper, soap and paper towels could indicate someone using these to freshen up daily. Food wrappers, beverage bottles and other forms of trash could suggest someone is cooking meals inside or using electricity to power appliances such as heaters.
One sure sign of illegal residency in a storage unit is when staff notice them regularly without moving items in and out. This constitutes a violation of their lease agreement and should be addressed quickly before becoming even bigger issues.
Storage facility managers must conduct routine unit inspections in order to make sure their tenants are adhering to the terms of their leases and keeping their belongings secure. In addition, property walk-throughs should also be conducted regularly in order to look out for signs of occupancy; increasing security can also help prevent people from living in these units.
Living in a storage unit might tempt some, but it should be avoided at all costs. They’re unsafe, unhygienic and often filled with human waste and garbage odors that make the experience unpleasant and unhealthy – therefore preventing anyone from considering living there as their permanent residence is best advised.