Should You Share A Self-Storage Unit?

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If your home is running low on storage space, or you've inherited some bulky items, you may be considering renting a self storage unit. However, perhaps the units you are viewing are too large for your needs, or out of your budget. Should you offer to split the cost of a unit with a friend or family member who is also in need of extra storage? Read onto learn more about the benefits (and potential pitfalls) of this type of storage arrangement.

What are some benefits of sharing a storage unit with a friend?

Many of the potential benefits of this arrangement are exactly the factors that would propel you to offer such an arrangement to a friend or family member. If your storage needs are limited -- but still exceed the storage capacity of your home -- it may seem wasteful to rent an entire storage unit for yourself. By sharing with another person who needs just a bit of space, you can save at least half the cost of your own storage unit. 

What are the drawbacks of this arrangement?

Although storage unit sharing can seem like the ideal arrangement, it is not without some potential complications.

You may wish to put yourself in charge of paying the monthly rent -- particularly if your name is on the rental agreement. If you entrust someone else to make the payment and they fail to do so, the contents of your storage unit may be seized and sold at auction. In many cases, the storage unit owner or landlord will bar access to your unit as soon as a payment becomes late. 

Although you may have complete trust in the friend or family member with whom you're sharing the unit, there is no guarantee that this person won't allow others access to the unit -- which can put your property at risk. 

How can you make this a mutually beneficial arrangement?

To successfully share an affordable self storage unit, you should make your goals and expectations clear at the outset. Ensure that your unit co-renter knows when and how much to pay you, and is aware that a failure to pay may give you the right to remove his or her belongings from the unit. Also be sure to make clear that no one else should have access to the unit without the express consent of both owners. By following these simple steps, you can ensure a harmonious relationship.