Have you ever asked yourself the question, “can you live in a storage unit?” If yes, you are not alone. Whether you are struggling to pay your rent or you are looking for a way to dramatically cut down your monthly expenses, then living in a storage unit may seem like the perfect solution.
However, is this actually a viable accommodation option, and more importantly, is it illegal to live in a storage unit? Find out everything you need to know about living in a storage unit below, including the current storage facility laws and common storage unit regulations.
Can you live inside storage units?
You may have heard rumors about people living in their units. You may even know someone who has tried to live in a storage facility. However, is it really an option to rent storage units with the intention of living in them?
The simple answer is no. Although it may seem like a good idea to live in a storage unit, when you really think about it, it is hardly sustainable. Not to mention the fact that it is prohibited by different local and federal housing laws, and if you get caught by someone in the storage industry, you will face immediate eviction.
That being said, there are still plenty of reasons why renting a storage unit is a good idea. For example, if you are moving to Jacksonville, you may want to place some of your belongings into storage to facilitate the moving process and safeguard your items.
Why living in a storage unit is a bad idea?
Despite the fact that it won’t be very pleasant living in a storage facility, there are many more reasons why this is a bad choice of accommodation, whatever your personal circumstances.
It is illegal
If you are caught staying in a rented storage facility, you will be deemed guilty of a civil offense. This is because most storage unit lease contracts clearly state that individuals are not allowed to live inside their units.
If you are caught living in or even just loitering around your rented storage unit, not only will you face immediate eviction, but you are also highly likely to be prosecuted and be hit with a hefty fine.
Instead, make sure you use a rented storage reason for one of the many right reasons, including to declutter your home or to store valuable belongings. For instance, if you live in Atlanta, you could choose to store your prized wine collection in climate-controlled storage.
It is potentially hazardous
Most storage units are not equipped with basic necessities such as hot water, heating, or air conditioning. This means not only are they not suitable for habitation, but they could potentially make you unwell. Furthermore, most storage facilities have no windows, which means you won’t have access to natural light, and this can have detrimental effects on both your physical and mental health.
You are also at risk of fire when sleeping in a storage unit, especially if you attempt to use a stove or grill within the facility without access to proper ventilation.
It is uncomfortable
Even without worries over safety and legality, living in a storage unit is not a very nice experience. You are faced with unbearable heat during the summer months and potentially dangerous cold atmospheres in the winter. Plus, if you do not have access to water, you could quickly start to experience poor personal hygiene, which can impact your overall self-esteem.
It can stop you from working
If you live in the Florida region and are considering the move into a storage unit in Tampa because you have lost your job and cannot afford your rent, you should know that with no permanent address, you will struggle to gain new employment, apply for benefits or even open a bank account. This means that even with cheap storage unit pricing, you will still struggle to make ends meet.
Why do people move into storage units?
Despite all of the above compelling reasons not to, there are still individuals who are willing to take the risk and move into a rented storage unit. Below are some of the main reasons that drive someone to live in a storage facility:
Their current living situation is not safe
If someone’s current living situation is unsafe, either because of domestic violence or another form of abuse, a storage unit may feel like a safer option.
They want to save money
Renting a house or apartment can be very expensive, especially if someone is trying to save enough money to buy their own home. Therefore, moving into a much cheaper storage facility can seem like a very attractive option.
They cannot afford anything else
Suffering financial hardship can happen to anyone, and if you don’t have any savings, you may not have many options when it comes to accommodation. However, there are resources that can help you. You may even be able to seek advice from your storage facility company.
How do storage facilities prevent people from living in their units?
If you are still considering living in a storage facility, then you should know storage unit providers do take active steps to prevent people from doing so. These include:
- Adding a clause to your rental agreement. Most storage facility providers will make it crystal clear in your rental agreement that both sleeping and living in your unit is not permitted.
- Using CCTV to monitor your unit. Many storage units are protected by 24-hour surveillance, so your storage provider will be able to see if you are using your unit for the wrong reasons. Some may also have an on-site security guard.
- Conducting regular checks. Trained staff will know what to look out for when it comes to people living in their units, such as suspicious wiring.
- Supplying helpful literature and resources. If you are renting from a reputable storage facility provider, you may find that they willing to work with you to improve your circumstances and may provide leaflets and/or information about local charities and organizations that can help you.
Hopefully, you now understand how living in a storage unit is not only unsafe but actually against the law and can result in your facing prosecution charges. If you are currently struggling with accommodation or you are concerned about being able to afford your rent in the near future, seek help sooner rather than later.
However, if you would like to rent a storage unit to store actual goods rather than yourself, StorageArea.com can help you. Offering the largest database of storage facilities in the United States, enter your city to find the closest storage facilities near you.