Is it Possible to Get Out of a Self Storage Lease?

\So it’s time to move again as you’re buying a home or selling your property. That brings up the unwelcome feeling of moving stress. Now, you’re wondering what you can do with all that stuff you’ve got stuffed away in a self storage facility. Then, it hits you like a ton of bricks — there’s an active lease — yikes! That leaves you wondering if it’s even possible to get out of a self storage unit lease. Well, it is possible but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be easy or pleasant.

Is it Possible to Get Out of a Self Storage Lease?

If you’re going to be staying in the area and it’s not completely necessary to end the lease, you could opt to just reduce what you’re storing. The less you store, the smaller the space you’ll need and that means paying less. But, if this isn’t a viable option, you’ve got to deal with the situation another way and you’re not alone. Approximately 1 in 10 households in the United States rents self storage units. That’s compared to 1 in 17 just about twenty years ago, according to Consumer Reports.

“Some self-storage contracts spell out terms in plain language while others might leave you utterly confused. It’s smart to brush up on lease agreements before you sign on the dotted line. “If a manager is doing his or her job, there shouldn’t be any surprises,” said Kelly Epps, property manager at Pioneer Stor & Lok in Columbus, GA, who said she sits down with customers to make sure they understand their lease agreements. Still, it’s ultimately your responsibility to understand any paperwork you sign. Here’s a guide to what you should know about self-storage contracts and legalese.” —

While self storage is a great short-term option it is a horrible long-term financial decision. The average cost of a climate controlled storage space is about $1.63 per square foot. So, for just a 10′ x 10′ unit, you’ll pay about $163 per month, which adds-up to $1,956 per year. What’s particularly troubling about this is if you invested the same $163 per month in an average performing mutual fund earning 10 percent, for five years, it would be worth $13,135.74. That’s certainly a lot to lose.

You might be tempted to just break the lease and take the credit report hit. But, keep in mind, if you’re going to buy a home, this could prove problematic. At the very least, you’ll have to deal with collection tactics and all sorts of fees piled on the contractual amount. It’s better to pursue an option that lets you out of the agreement. Here are three ways you might be able to get out of a self storage lease:

  • Pay the lease out entirely. Although this isn’t the most pleasant or even the least expensive option, it is one that will free you from the lease obligation. Contact the self storage facility and ask if you have the ability to pay out the lease so you are no longer contractually committed. It might cost you one or more fees but you won’t have to deal with it any longer.
  • Empty the space and wait it out. Another option is to empty the storage unit so it’s ready to turn back to the company when the contract expires or comes up for renewal. If you choose to go this route, be sure to carefully read your lease agreement to learn about the company’s termination procedure and when you are required to give notice.
  • Request an early lease release. In some instances, depending on the company, you might be able to get out of a self storage lease by requesting an early contract release. This might require you to pay for the remainder of the time and/or other fees but it will free you of the obligation.

If you’re going to move in the near future, either to sell and/or buy a home, please don’t hesitate to phone me at 407-616-7286, I’ll be happy to speak with you.