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<June 23, 2011> Murfreesboro, Tenn. – New legislation takes effect on July 1st changing the way self storage facilities do business in Tennessee. Spearheaded by the Tennessee Self Storage Association, the TN Self Storage Facility Act was successfully amended to allow facilities to take advantage of new technologies, saving businesses and consumers money and headaches.

“Self Storage is not the most provocative industry in Tennessee, but storage is something almost all of us need from time to time,” explains Dee Sharp, TNSSA President. “The passing of this bill is a significant milestone for our industry because it gives parameters that level the playing field among competitors and protects consumers’ interests.”

The bill primarily addresses enforcement procedures, providing statutory guidelines for issues involving late fees, lien notices and sale of property.

Sherry Cole, co-owner of Storage Plus in Murfreesboro and TNSSA’s Legislative Committee chair, says, “One of the most important parts of the legislation concerns how storage facilities can sell property from delinquent or defaulting tenants. Storage facilities across the state have recognized an increase in calls seeking information about auctions caused by the lagging economy. This new legislation improves the process for businesses to recoup their expenses when it comes to defaulting tenants.”

Cole adds a warning to fans of the popular “reality” TV show Storage Wars not to assume the legislation will provide for more frequent auctions that will uncover priceless treasures. “The truth is that, at least in Tennessee, defaulting is not all that frequent, but I can assure you extraordinary “finds” are extremely rare.” Other notable attributes of the bill include:

  • Late fees are now guided by this statute. Late fees are allowed at 20% of the lease value or $20, whichever is greater.
  • Lien notices can now be emailed or sent first class, verified mail to the lessee. Previously all notices were to be sent by certified mail, adding expense to the storage facility.
  • Notices of sale were required, in the previous law, to be published in the newspaper twice and also posted at the county courthouse. The revisions now require only one published notice in the newspaper.
  • The timeline to begin the sales process has been reduced from 90 to 60 days.
  • Owners can now have abandoned vehicles towed to avoid the sales process.

The bill (HR 1265 and SR 1293) was signed by Governor Haslam on April 29 and takes effect on July 1, 2011.

In a TNSSA newsletter, Cole congratulates TNSSA members and those in support of the passage of the bill. “Our goal was to modernize Tennessee’s 31-year-old Self Storage Statute and recognize changes that technology has brought to industry practices. We were successful because every step of the way, the TNSSA Board of Directors, TNSSA members, non-members, and vendors answered the calls to action.”

The Tennessee Self Storage Association is a non-profit organization created to provide leadership and an official voice to promote the self storage industry. It is made up of owner/operators and vendor members that serve the industry. With over 1200 self-storage facilities in TN, the TNSSA is dedicated to providing the highest level of service, educational opportunities, and access to industry publications to its members to promote professionalism and continued growth of the industry and its Association. Our organization is affiliated with the National Self Storage Association. (http://www.tnssa.net)


Sherry Cole - cole.s@vcnet.com