Self Storage Laws

California Storage Law

California Storage Law

CA Self and Mini Storage Lien Laws

 

CALIFORNIA CODES

BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE

SECTION 21700-21716

 

21700.  This act shall be known as the "California Self-Service

Storage Facility Act."

 

 

21701.  For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall

have the following meanings:

   (a) "Self-service storage facility" means real property designed

and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage

space to occupants who are to have access to the space for the

purpose of storing and removing personal property or for storing

individual storage containers provided to occupants who have

exclusive use of the container for the purpose of storing and

removing personal property, whether or not the individual storage

containers are transported pursuant to Section 21701.1. Self-service

storage facility does not include a garage or other storage area in a

private residence. No occupant may use a self-service storage

facility for residential purposes. A self-service storage facility is

not a warehouse, nor a public utility, as defined in Section 216 of

the Public Utilities Code. If an owner issues a warehouse receipt,

bill of lading, or other document of title for the personal property

stored, the owner and the occupant are subject to the provisions of

Division 7 (commencing with Section 7101) of the Commercial Code, and

the provisions of this chapter do not apply.

   (b) "Owner" means the owner, operator, lessor, or sublessor of a

self-service storage facility, his or her agent, or any other person

authorized by him or her to manage the facility, or to receive rent

from an occupant under a rental agreement, and no real estate license

is required.

   (c) "Occupant" means a person, or his or her sublessee, successor,

or assign, who is entitled to the use of the storage space at a

self-service storage facility under a rental agreement, to the

exclusion of others.

   (d) "Rental agreement" means any written agreement or lease which

establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, rules, or any other

provision concerning the use and occupancy of a self-service storage

facility.

   (e) "Personal property" means movable property not affixed to

land, and includes, but is not limited to, goods, merchandise,

furniture, and household items.

   (f) "Last known address" means that address provided by the

occupant in the latest rental agreement, or the address provided by

the occupant in a subsequent written notice of a change of address.

 

 

 

21701.1.  (a) The owner or operator of a self-service storage

facility or a household goods carrier, may, for a fee, transport

individual storage containers to and from a self-service storage

facility that he or she owns or operates. This transportation

activity, whether performed by an owner, operator, or carrier, shall

not be deemed transportation for compensation or hire as a business

of used household goods and is not subject to regulation under

Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 5101) of Division 2 of the Public

Utilities Code, provided that all of the following requirements are

met:

   (1) The fee charged (A) to deliver an empty individual storage

container to a customer and to transport the loaded container to a

self-service storage facility or (B) to return a loaded individual

storage container from a self-service storage facility to the

customer does not exceed one hundred dollars ($100).

   (2) The owner, operator, or carrier, or any affiliate of the

owner, operator, or carrier, does not load, pack, or otherwise handle

the contents of the container.

   (3) The owner, operator, or carrier is registered under Chapter 2

(commencing with Section 34620) of Division 14.85 of the Vehicle Code

or holds a permit under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 5101) of

Division 2 of the Public Utilities Code.

   (4) The owner, operator, or carrier has procured and maintained

cargo insurance in the amount of at least twenty thousand dollars

($20,000) per shipment. Proof of cargo insurance coverage shall be

maintained on file and presented to the Department of Motor Vehicles

or Public Utilities Commission upon written request.

   (5) The owner, operator, or carrier shall disclose to the customer

in advance the following information regarding the container

transfer service offered, in a written document separate from others

furnished at the time of disclosure:

   (A) A detailed description of the transfer service, including a

commitment to use its best efforts to place the container in an

appropriate location designated by the customer.

   (B) The dimensions and construction of the individual storage

containers used.

   (C) The unit charge, if any, for the container transfer service

that is in addition to the storage charge or any other fees under the

rental agreement.

   (D) The availability of delivery or pickup by the customer of his

or her goods at the self-service storage facility.

   (E) The maximum allowable distance, measured from the self-service

storage facility, for the initial pickup and final delivery of the

loaded container.

   (F) The precise terms of the company's right to move a container

from the initial storage location at its own discretion and a

statement that the customer will not be required to pay additional

charges with respect to that transfer.

   (G) Conspicuous disclosure in bold text of the allocation of

responsibility for the risk of loss or damage to the customer's

goods, including any disclaimer of the company's liability, and the

procedure for presenting any claim regarding loss or damage to the

company.

   The disclosure of terms and conditions required by this

subdivision, and the rental agreement, shall be received by the

customer a minimum of 72 hours prior to delivery of the empty

individual storage container; however, the customer may, in writing,

knowingly and voluntarily waive that receipt. The company shall

record in writing, and retain for a period of at least six months

after the end of the rental, the time and method of delivery of the

information, any waiver made by the customer, and the times and dates

of initial pickup and redelivery of the containerized goods.

   (6) No later than the time the empty individual storage container

is delivered to the customer, the company shall provide the customer

with an informational brochure containing the following information

about loading the container:

   (A) Packing and loading tips to minimize damage in transit.

   (B) A suggestion that the customer make an inventory of the items

as they are loaded and keep any other record (for example,

photographs or video recording) that may assist in any subsequent

claims processing.

   (C) A list of items that are impermissible to pack in the

container (for example, flammable items).

   (D) A list of items that are not recommended to be packed in light

of foreseeable hazards inherent in the company's handling of the

containers and in light of any limitation of liability contained in

the rental agreement.

   (b) Pickup and delivery of the individual storage containers shall

be on a date agreed upon between the customer and the company. If

the company requires the customer to be physically present at the

time of pickup, the company shall in fact be at the customer's

premises prepared to perform the service not more than four hours

later than the scheduled time agreed to by the customer and company,

and in the event of a preventable breach of that obligation by the

company, the customer shall be entitled to receive a penalty of fifty

dollars ($50) from the company and to elect rescission of the rental

agreement without liability.

   (c) No charge shall be assessed with respect to any movement of

the container between self-service storage facilities by the company

at its own discretion, nor for the delivery of a container to a

customer's premises if the customer advises the company, at least 24

hours before the agreed time of container dropoff, orally or in

writing, that he or she is rescinding the request for service.

   (d) For purposes of this chapter, "individual storage container"

means a container that meets all of the following requirements:

   (1) It shall be fully enclosed and locked.

   (2) It contains not less than 100 cubic feet and not more than

1,100 cubic feet.

   (3) It is constructed out of a durable material appropriate for

repeated use. A box constructed out of cardboard or a similar

material shall not constitute an individual storage container for

purposes of this section.

   (e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the

authority of the Public Utilities Commission to investigate and

commence an appropriate enforcement action pursuant to Chapter 7

(commencing with Section 5101) of Division 2 of the Public Utilities

Code against any person transporting household goods in individual

storage containers in a manner other than that described in this

section.

 

 

 

21702.  The owner of a self-service storage facility and his or her

heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and assigns have a lien

upon all personal property located at a self-service storage

facility for rent, labor, late payment fees, or other charges,

present or future, incurred pursuant to the rental agreement and for

expenses necessary for the preservation, sale, or disposition of

personal property subject to the provisions of this chapter. The lien

may be enforced consistent with the provisions in this chapter.

 

 

 

21702.5.  (a) Any lien on a vehicle or vessel subject to

registration or identification under the Vehicle Code which has

attached and is set forth in the documents of title to the vehicle or

vessel shall have priority over any lien created pursuant to this

chapter.

   (b) Any lien created pursuant to this chapter on a vehicle or

vessel subject to registration or identification under the Vehicle

Code shall be enforced in accordance with the provisions of Section

3071 of the Civil Code, in the case of a vehicle, or Section 503 of

the Harbors and Navigation Code, in the case of a vessel, and not as

prescribed in Sections 21705 to 21711, inclusive.

   (c) Any lien created pursuant to this chapter on a vehicle or

vessel subject to registration or identification under the Vehicle

Code shall not include any charges for rent, labor, or other services

incurred pursuant to the rental agreement, accruing more than 60

days after the date the lien imposed pursuant to this chapter

attaches, as set forth in Section 21705, and before application is

made for authorization to conduct the lien sale pursuant to the

requirements of Section 3071 of the Civil Code or Section 503 of the

Harbors and Navigation Code.

   (d) Any proceeds from a lien sale shall be disposed of pursuant to

Section 3073 of the Civil Code, in the case of a vehicle, or Section

507.5 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, in the case of a vessel.

 

 

 

21703.  If any part of the rent or other charges due from an

occupant remain unpaid for 14 consecutive days, an owner may

terminate the right of the occupant to the use of the storage space

at a self-service storage facility by sending a notice to the

occupant's last known address and to the alternative address

specified in subdivision (b) of Section 21712. The notice shall be

sent by certified mail, postage prepaid, or by regular first-class

mail if the owner obtains a certificate of mailing indicating the

date the notice was mailed. The notice shall contain all of the

following:

   (a) An itemized statement of the owner's claim showing the sums

due at the time of the notice and the date when the sums became due.

   (b) A statement that the occupant's right to use the storage space

will terminate on a specified date (not less than 14 days after the

mailing of the notice) unless all sums due are paid by the occupant

prior to the specified date.

   (c) A notice that the occupant may be denied access to the storage

space after the termination date if the sums are not paid and that

an owner's lien, as provided for in Section 21702, may be imposed

thereafter.

   (d) The name, street address, and telephone number of the owner or

his or her designated agent whom the occupant may contact to respond

to the notice.

 

 

21704.  A notice in substantially the following form shall satisfy

the requirements of Section 21703:

 

   PRELIMINARY  LIEN NOTICE

  TO   ___________

    (occupant)

 

  ___________

    (address)

  _________

      (state)

 

 You owe and  have not paid rent and/or other charges for the use of storage

  _______

    (space number)

  

  at _______________________________________________________

         (name  and address  of storage facility)

 

 

  .

  These charges total $  __________

                                       (amount)

  and have been due for more than 14 days. They are itemized as   follows:

 

     Due Date     Description       Amount

 

 

        TOTAL:   $__________

 

  If this sum is not paid in full before  _________

                                                     (date at least 14 days from  mailing)

  your right to use the storage space will terminate, you will be denied access, and an owner's lien on any stored property will imposed.You may pay this sum and may contact the owner at:

  _______

  (name)

  __________

  (address)

  ________

  (state)

  ___________

  (telephone)

 

 ________

  (date)

___________________

  (owner's  signature)

 

 

 

21705.  (a) If the notice has been sent as required by Section 21703

and the total sum due has not been paid within 14 days of the

termination date specified in the preliminary lien notice, the lien

imposed by this chapter attaches as of that date and the owner may do

all of the following:

   (1) Deny an occupant access to the space.

   (2) Enter the space.

   (3) Remove any property found therein to a place of safekeeping.

   (b) Upon taking the actions described in subdivision (a), the

owner shall send to the occupant, addressed to the occupant's last

known address, and to the alternative address specified in

subdivision (b) of Section 21712, by certified mail or by first-class

mail, if the owner obtains a certificate of mailing, postage

prepaid, both of the following:

   (1) A notice of lien sale that states all of the following:

   (A) That the occupant's right to use the storage space has

terminated and that the occupant no longer has access to the stored

property.

   (B) That the stored property is subject to a lien, the current

amount of the lien, and that the lien will continue to increase if

rent is not paid.

   (C) That the property will be sold to satisfy the lien after a

specified date that is not less than 14 days from the date of mailing

the notice, unless the occupant executes and returns by certified

mail a declaration in opposition to lien sale in the form set forth

in paragraph (2).

   (D) A statement that the occupant may regain full use of the space

by paying the full lien amount prior to the date specified in

subparagraph (C).

   (E) That any excess proceeds of the sale over the lien amount and

costs of sale will be retained by the owner and may be reclaimed by

the occupant or claimed by another person at any time for a period of

one year from the sale and that thereafter the proceeds will escheat

to the county in which the sale is to take place.

   (2) A blank declaration in opposition to lien sale that shall be

in substantially the following form:

 

       DECLARATION IN

   OPPOSITION TO LIEN SALE

  You must complete all sections of this declaration. If the owner cannot contact or serve you at the address and telephone number that you provide below, is declaration shall be void and the owner may sell your stored property.

  I,__________________ have received the  notice of lien sale of the property stored

         (occupant's name)

 

   at ______________

             (location and space #)

  I oppose the lien sale  of the property, because 

  _________________________________________________________

  _________________________________________________________

(provide a brief explanation of the reason the owner's lien may not be valid. For example, "I have paid my rent and other charges in full):  

 

 

My address is:

  (address)_______________

  (city)__________________

  (state)_________________

  (ZIP Code)______________

  (telephone number)______

 

  I understand that the lienholder may file an action against me in any court of competent jurisdiction, including small claims court, at the address provided  above, and if a judgment is given in his or her favor, I may be liable for the court costs. I also understand that this declaration is not valid if 

(a) the address provided in this declaration is not my current address or

(b) I change my address at any time prior to service of an action on the lien and I do not provide the owner the address within 10 days of the change.

 

  I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct, and that this declaration was signed  by me on

________ at   _________ 

   (date)                (place)

 

 

 _____________

  (signature of occupant)

 

 

 

21706.  If a declaration in opposition to the lien sale, executed

under penalty of perjury, is not received by the owner on or prior to

the date specified in the notice of lien sale by certified mail, is

not completed and signed by the occupant, if the occupant cannot be

contacted or served at the address provided in the declaration, or if

the occupant withdraws the declaration in opposition to the lien

sale in writing, the owner may, subject to the provisions of Sections

21708 and 21709, sell the property upon complying with the

requirements set forth in Section 21707.

 

 

 

21707.  After the expiration of the time given in the notice of lien

sale, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 21705, or following the

failure of a claimant to pay rent or obtain a court order pursuant

to Section 21709, an advertisement of the sale shall be published

once a week for two weeks consecutively in a newspaper of general

circulation published in the judicial district where the sale is to

be held. The advertisement shall include a general description of the

goods, the name of the person on whose account they are being

stored, and the name and location of the storage facility. If there

is no newspaper of general circulation published in the judicial

district where the sale is to be held, the advertisement shall be

posted at least 10 days before the sale in not less than six

conspicuous places in the neighborhood of the proposed sale. The sale

shall be conducted in a commercially reasonable manner. After

deducting the amount of the lien and costs of sale, the owner shall

retain any excess proceeds of the sale on the occupant's behalf. The

occupant, or any other person having a court order or other judicial

process against the property, may claim the excess proceeds, or a

portion thereof sufficient to satisfy the particular claim, at any

time within one year of the date of sale. Thereafter, the owner shall

pay any remaining excess proceeds to the treasury of the county in

which the sale was held.

 

 

21708.  Any person who has a perfected security interest under

Division 9 (commencing with Section 9101) of the Commercial Code may

claim any personal property subject to the security interest and

subject to a lien pursuant to this chapter by paying the total amount

due, as specified in the preliminary lien notice, for the storage of

the property, if no declaration of opposition to the lien sale is

executed and returned by the occupant. Upon payment of the total

amount due, the owner shall deliver possession of the particular

property subject to the security interest to the person who paid the

total amount due. The owner shall not be liable to any person for any

action taken pursuant to this section if the owner has fully

complied with the requirements of Sections 21704 and 21705.

 

 

 

21709.  Prior to any sale pursuant to Section 21707, any person

claiming a right to the goods may pay the amount necessary to satisfy

the lien together with one month's rent in advance. In that event,

the goods shall not be sold, but shall be retained by the owner

pending a court order directing the disposition of the property. If a

court order is not obtained within 30 days following the date of the

payment pursuant to this section, the claimant shall pay the owner

the monthly rental charge for the space where the property is stored

pursuant to the terms of the rental agreement. If the claimant does

not pay this rent, the owner may sell or dispose of the personal

property in accordance with Section 21707. The owner shall have no

liability for the sale or other disposition of the personal property

to any claimant who fails to secure a court order or pay the required

rental charge as set forth in this section, provided the owner has

fully complied with the requirements of this chapter.

 

 

 

21710.  (a) If a valid declaration in opposition to lien sale is

received by the owner prior to the date set forth in the notice of

lien sale, the owner may enforce the lien only as follows:

   (1) File an action to enforce the lien in small claims court as

provided in Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section 116.110) of Title 1

of Part 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, provided that the amount of

the lien is within the monetary jurisdiction of the court. If the

action is filed in small claims court, all of the procedures set

forth in that chapter shall apply, including the procedures for

service of the summons and complaint.

   (2) File an action to enforce the lien in any other court of

competent jurisdiction, in which case the summons and complaint may

be served by certified mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the

occupant at the address provided by the occupant in the declaration

of lien sale, and service shall be deemed completed on the fifth day

after the mailing, or in any other manner authorized by Chapter 4

(commencing with Section 413.10) of Title 5 of Part 2 of the Code of

Civil Procedure.

   (b) If the owner is granted a judgment in favor of the lien, the

owner may advertise the goods for sale and sell the property as

provided in Section 21707.

 

 

21711.  A purchaser in good faith of goods sold to enforce a lien or

a judgment entered on the lien in favor of the owner on goods stored

at a self-service storage facility takes the goods free of any

rights of persons against whom the lien was claimed, despite

noncompliance by the owner of the storage facility with the

requirements of this chapter.

 

 

 

21712.  (a) Each contract for the rental or lease of individual

storage space in a self-service storage facility shall be in writing

and shall contain, in addition to the provisions otherwise required

or permitted by law to be included, a statement that the occupant's

property will be subject to a claim of lien and may even be sold to

satisfy the lien if the rent or other charges due remain unpaid for

14 consecutive days and that such actions are authorized by this

chapter.

   (b) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply, and the lien

authorized by this chapter shall not attach, unless the rental

agreement requests, and provides space for, the occupant to give the

name and address of another person to whom the preliminary lien

notice and subsequent notices required to be given under this chapter

may be sent. Notices sent pursuant to Section 21703 or Section 21705

shall be sent to the occupant's address and the alternative address,

if both addresses are provided by the occupant. Failure of an

occupant to provide an alternative address shall not affect an owner'

s remedies under this chapter or under any other provision of law.

 

 

 

21713.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impair or

affect the right of the parties to create additional rights, duties,

and obligations in and by virtue of the rental agreement. The rights

provided by this chapter shall be in addition to all other rights

provided by law to a creditor against his or her debtor.

 

 

 

 

21713.5.  (a) The owner of a self-service storage facility may

assess a reasonable late payment fee if an occupant does not pay the

entire amount of the rental fee specified in the rental agreement,

subject to the following requirements:

   (1) No late payment fee shall be assessed unless the rental fee

remains unpaid for at least 10 days after the date specified in the

rental agreement for payment of the rental fee.

   (2) The amount of the late payment fee shall be specified in the

occupant's rental agreement.

   (3) Only one late payment fee shall be assessed for each rental

fee payment that is not paid on the date specified in the rental

agreement.

   (b) For purposes of this section, a "reasonable late payment fee"

is one that does not exceed the following:

   (1) Ten dollars ($10), if the rental agreement provides for

monthly rent of sixty dollars ($60) or less.

   (2) Fifteen dollars ($15), if the rental agreement provides for

monthly rent greater than sixty dollars ($60), but less than one

hundred dollars ($100).

   (3) Twenty dollars ($20) or 15 percent of the monthly rental fee,

whichever is greater, if the rental agreement provides for monthly

rent of one hundred dollars ($100) or more.

 

 

 

21714.  The provisions of this chapter shall only apply to rental

agreements entered into, or extended, or renewed after the effective

date of this chapter.

 

 

21715.  All rental agreements entered into before the effective date

of this chapter, and not extended or renewed after that date, and

the rights, duties, and interests flowing from them, shall remain

valid, and may be enforced or terminated in accordance with their

terms or as permitted by any other statute or law of this state.

 

 

 

 

21716.  If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof

to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall

not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter, which

can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and

to this end the provisions of this chapter are declared to be

severable.