December 15, 2009 3:46 PM
Michigan's legislature has passed Senate Bill 204, amending the lien procedures for self-storage facilities in the state. The bill was sent to Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm on December 7. When Granholm signs it, it will become law. The Self Storage Association of Michigan and the national Self Storage Association both lobbied on behalf of the bill, which sets special rules for self-storage tenants if they are deployed military personnel. The bill was originally introduced into the Michigan legislature by Democratic Senator Dennis Olshove on Feb. 10, 2009. The same language being used in the Michigan bill is also being considered in legislation that is pending in Arizona, California, and North Carolina.
As currently written, Michigan's self-storage lien laws allow storage operator's to sell, at a public sale, the goods that they find inside a unit when the unit's rent is not paid. SB 204, which is being referred to as the "self-service storage facility act," makes deployed military personnel exempt from having their units foreclosed on, and the contents auctioned at a public sale, if they are unable to pay regular rent payments on the self-storage units they occupy. According to the new rules set forth in the bill, a self-storage facility owner cannot enforce a lien against a armed services member who is currently serving overseas on active duty and who will be on duty overseas for at least 180 days. When service members return from overseas assignments, self-storage facility owners must wait at least 90 days after the end of the overseas service before they can begin lien enforcement proceedings. [More]