Contributing Editors

Will New Consumer Protection Laws Affect the Way You Budget for Self Storage?

by Tony Gonzalez August 24, 2010 11:57 PM
Self storage is like any other monthly expense. Once you sign your monthly lease, you must add the expense of the storage unit to the other expenses in your monthly budget. Some self storage tenants have their monthly rent automatically withdrawn from their checking accounts. Others have the rent taken as an automatic withdrawal from their credit card accounts. Still others prefer to stop by and pay for each month in person, or receive an invoice each month and send the check by mail. Which method is best for your budget? Last week, new credit card regulations went into effect, and experts are advising consumers to avoid adding new expenses to their credit card debts if they can. In April 2011, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will also take effect. When it does, banking fees are expected to shoot up. Banks are trying to attract consumers to open new accounts now, when they can offer a better deal. But some financial analysts have begun to recommend using prepaid cards in place of both credit and debit cards. [More]

Self Storage Facilities Target E-waste in New Recycling Programs

by John Stevens August 24, 2010 7:13 AM
Self storage facilities interested in “greening” their properties have begun to offer e-waste recycling, in addition to ordinary recycling of paper products, glass, and aluminum cans. E-waste refers to electronic waste. It can include computers, monitors, televisions, cell phones, printers, laptop computers, fax machines, copiers, VCRS and DVD players, stereos, or any other electronic device. [More]

NY Self Storage Operator Caught in the Middle in Financial Records Lockdown

by Kim Kilpatrick August 23, 2010 11:19 PM
A New York state self storage operator is caught in the middle of a lock down of financial records stored by the Albany brokerage firm McGinn, Smith & Co. McGinn Smith is the subject of an SEC investigation for financial fraud. The self storage operator, Mark Rekucki of Clifton Park Self Storage, initially agreed to allow McGinn Smith to rent 11 units free of charge for the month of April, while the firm was looking for new offices. The units were used to store McGinn Smith’s financial records. But late in April, the SEC formally charged McGinn Smith with securities fraud, and the storage units were raided by federal agents. Since then, no one has paid any rent on the units, and Clifton Park Self Storage alleges that it is owed more than $5,000 in back rent. [More]

Kind Strangers Rent Storage Unit for Evicted Missouri Family

by Holly Robinson August 23, 2010 11:25 AM
Gladstone, Missouri citizens gave new meaning to the term “good Samaritan” this week. On Thursday, Gladstone city officials told a family that they would have to leave their home, not because of foreclosure -- but because the home was not safe. Early this summer, the home had begun to slide down a hill. The house belongs to Russell and Roberta Sitzman, who had lived there for 35 years and were surviving on disability payments. Yesterday, Gladstone’s city engineers condemned the house, telling the Sitzmans that they would have to leave the house by 6 pm Friday. After the Sitzmans’ story was broadcast on a local news station Thursday night, strangers began showing up at the house to help the Sitzmans to move and pack. They took up a collection and rented a storage unit for the family. [More]

Check Stored Baby Gear Against List of Recently Recalled Items

by Winnie Hsiu August 19, 2010 11:49 PM
Many people save baby gear in self storage units, planning to reuse gear for an expected sibling or hoping to give the gear away to family members or friends. If you are storing baby gear, you may want to doublecheck to make sure that none of the gear has been recalled before allowing families to use it. Recalls of baby gear are common, but this has been a particularly bad year for stroller and double stroller recalls. [More]

Some Cities Banning Home Vacation Rentals

by Tony Gonzalez August 11, 2010 11:54 PM
A frequent use of self storage is to store one’s possessions during a vacation, so that one’s home can be rented to another vacationer. A once rare practice, renting residential homes for a vacation has become common over the last decades, as travelers try to make do on smaller budgets. Renting a home from the homeowner is often cheaper than staying in a hotel. But this summer many cities have begun to ban short-term vacation rentals, including apartment rentals and condo rentals. In other cities, longstanding laws against the short term rentals are being enforced more rigorously for the first time. New York and Chicago passed laws this summer banning short-term rentals. Maui, Hawaii, has begun to enforce an old law against short-term vacation home rentals, and so has Paris, France. [More]

Save on Moving, Packing, and Organizing Supplies During Sales Tax Holidays

by John Stevens August 6, 2010 11:47 PM
Several states have instituted sales tax holidays this August, to give families a break while shopping for school supplies and to stimulate local economies. Many retail stores are offering special deals to coincide with tax-free days. Although the tax holidays are intended for back to school shoppers, many packing and organizing supplies, such as strapping tape and file folders, will be tax-free as well. People who are thinking of moving their files into storage, or decluttering a home in preparation for putting it on the market, may want to take advantage of the August tax-free holidays. [More]

Self Storage Companies Plant Trees for Customers

by Kim Kilpatrick August 6, 2010 10:26 AM
Two self storage companies are planting trees in an attempt to cause reforestation of areas of the world that are suffering from deforestation, such as Haiti, the Amazon basin, and tropical rain forests around the world. Watson & Taylor Self Storage, of Addison, Texas, announced this week that it will work with Trees for the Future to plant ten trees for every new self storage customer to rent a unit at their facility in the month of August. Likewise, iStoreGreen of Brooklyn, New York, plants a tree for every tenant through the Nature Conservancy. [More]
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