Have you ever concentrated on the clause ‘who else may have access to your storage unit’ in your rental agreement?’ Many of the operators put this clause on their rental agreement thinking that the customer includes a spouse or any significant person who wanted to be named on the lease. But they may not be aware of the scenarios which may potentially include them to risks.
Taking names on the authorized access field means you are unreasonably allowing sharing the access and services you offer to additional customers. The whole point of authorized access will be fruitful, only if it is maintained confidential between the tenant and the party. When you involve in that process, unknowingly you are going to turn the confidential point to public which in turn may create risks.
There are many situations where the storage unit managers are caught in trouble because of authorized access. Here are some situations which the management needs to think before including the field in the rental agreement. Suppose, a person has included his/her spouse as an authorized user of the storage unit, and later they got divorced and the person forgot to remove the spouse from the authorized user list. In another case, a person included his friend as an authorized user and later they turned enemies and the tenant was not able to notify the facility owner. In these situations if you offer the access then you may have to be prepared to face a law suit.
Allowing for self storage authorized access would be beneficial to your tenant and the other person, but it may set you up in legal issues. Suppose a person who is authorized to your unit has turned up without the gate code or lock keys and expected your assistance, then your management should be able to tackle the situation. Here are some of the tips for your managers to handle the situations.
1. When an authorized person asks for your assistance to open the storage unit, mention to him the policies which your facility follows and try to convince him that you should not provide any assistance for the tenants as part of the security rules.
2. For each entry or access of a storage unit, notify the tenant that the particular unit has been accessed by the user, at a particular time through emails or through mobile alerts.
3. Make sure you make a recording of all the customers who enter and exit your storage using camera surveillance at the entrance of your facility. Also, ask your tenants to enter or update the list of items whenever they remove or add into the storage unit.
4. Educate all your staff and train them on how to manage and minimize the risk at self storage facilities.
Let your tenants decide with whom they want to share the lock code and key. If they wish to change their mind, it is their entire responsibility to change the lock code or the key. For safety, you can just maintain the record of the person who accesses the unit.