New York Storage AuctionsWhile other states are developing laws to streamline the lien auction process, New York Senator Tony Avella is working to create laws that could be very unfavorable to storage facility owners and auction hunters.

The bill was introduced on January 8. It proposes several new changes to the way storage auctions are handled in the state:

— Two lien notifications, rather than one, must be sent to the delinquent tenant.

— If the primary tenant cannot be notified, a secondary contact must be notified in his place.

— Tenants would have 30 days to satisfy their lien rather than 10 days as is currently allowed.

The purpose of these changes would be to give tenants better odds of recovering delinquent units. Senator Avella admits that his inspiration for introducing these laws came from witnessing the ever-growing popularity of storage auctions and wondering why any tenant would walk away from expensive belongings.

While the law could protect the interests of some storage tenants, it also introduces additional hassles to storage facility owners. Meanwhile, the proposed law would give no benefits to storage facilities themselves such as those seen in other states: The ability to contact renters through email, the ability to post lien advertisements online or the ability to hold an auction over the Internet.

Because of this, both the New York Self Storage Association and the national Self Storage Association are lobbying to oppose the bill. Given the SSA’s success in favorably changing storage laws elsewhere in the country, it’s possible that the bill might be modified to include terms more attractive to people in the storage business while still providing some additional protections to renters.

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