What happens to abandoned storage units in Australia?

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Did you know that hundreds of storage units in Australia are declared abandoned each year? It’s hard to fathom that people would abandon their belongings that they went to the effort to store in the first place, but for many reasons storage units are left abandoned. This is often because contact with owner has failed and the renter has not kept up with required payments for an extended period.

As outlined in the terms and conditions of renting a storage unit every effort is made to contact the owner to retrieve their belongings, but after numerous attempts fail the unit is deemed abandoned by the storage facility. A storage unit auction of the remaining items is usually held to recoup some of the missed rent and to get the unit ready to be re-leased.

Here’s how the process typically works:

• The owners are contacted by telephone and mail to retrieve their belongings after their lease has expired or payments have failed
• Tenants are warned of the consequences of failing to pay including their belongings being auctioned off.
• If tenants repay the outstanding rent, planned auctions are cancelled.
• If payment is not made, an advertisement is put in the local classified section of newspapers to announce the auction being held.

Storage Unit Auctions in Australia

With an increasing number of storage units abandoned, storage unit auctions are becoming more and popular in Australia, especially after the popularity of U.S reality TV series Storage Wars. According to this Canberra Times article, storage unit auctions are seeing a movement of avid bargain hunters sweep in to find pieces of quality equipment at prices well below second hand stores.

A little bit of advice from us…

If you’re planning on renting a storage unit, we always recommend people be realistic and only rent a space that they know that they will be able to afford on a continual basis. Sometimes this means sticking to a smaller size unit or only renting the unit for a shorter timeframe and having a plan in place to relocate the belongings as the timeframe nears the end.

If you know that you’ll have trouble paying the fees, keeping in touch with the operators of the facility will in many cases allow something that can be worked out, which will avoid you turning up and realising the you pass into the facility has been deactivated.

So if you’ve always wondered what happens to abandoned storage units in Australia –now you know. If you have any more questions about renting a storage unit call ABC Self Storage today on (07) 5598 3355.

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