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California Self Storage Association

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With the daunting amount of news and information coming at you constantly it is impossible for any one person to keep up. Our team curates and alerts you to the "must have” information to ensure you are in the know. Having relevant, current information helps you to make the best decisions possible.

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  • Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:30 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Irvine, CA – February 20, 2018 – Talonvest Capital, along with the California Self Storage Association, are thrilled to announce that Ron Havner, Public Storage Chairman and CEO, will deliver the Industry Keynote presentation at the CSSA’s 14th Annual Self Storage Owners Summit on July 19, 2018.  Noted Green Street Advisors Analyst, Ryan Burke, will moderate this discussion with one of the storage industry’s most prominent and respected leaders.  Don’t miss a potentially different perspective on the state of the storage sector after Mr. Havner spoke so enthusiastically at this same conference five years ago about industry fundamentals and exceptional property level cash flows at their properties.

    Once again, Talonvest is proud to be the event partner with the CSSA at the Owners Summit, which was founded by Talonvest Principal, Jim Davies.  The event will be held at the historic Balboa Bay Club resort in Newport Beach, CA. 

    About Talonvest:

    Talonvest Capital, Inc. is a boutique real estate firm providing advisory services to self storage and commercial real estate investors, owners, and developers throughout the United States.  The firm utilizes a unique collaborative team approach and four decades of institutional knowledge and expertise from the team members to deliver better capital solutions for its clients. 

    ######

    Contact:

    Amanda Waite

    Talonvest Capital, Inc.

    949.648.0337

    awaite@talonvest.com


  • Thursday, February 01, 2018 12:26 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    Behind every great organization is an equally great committee.

    It might sound like a punch line, but when it comes to the California Self Storage Association (CSSA) it is true that a solid and involved Board of Directors makes a huge difference. And it is likewise true that the Executive Committee of the CSSA is thoroughly dedicated toward pointing the organization in the right direction, working with executive director Erin King to make sure that all hurdles are overcome and the organization is constantly moving forward.

    The Executive Committee’s primary responsibility is to ensure the health of the association, including financial oversight, membership retention and growth, brand awareness, succession planning and overall governance. To that end, the CSSA Executive Committee is dedicated to the organization in a myriad of ways.

    “Having served on the CSSA and SSA boards for several years I have seen firsthand how much time and effort members of the Executive Committee invest in supporting the association,” said Robert Chiti, Chairman of this year’s Executive Committee. “They are involved in regular meetings to deal with association business and are required to put their respective business agendas aside and deal with issues in an independent and professional manner. They are also typically the first to raise their hand when the association is looking for sponsorship dollars.”

    The executive committee is made up of five people; the Emeritus (Past Chair), the current Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary & Treasurer. The Past Chair/Emeritus is Natolie Ochi of SKS Management, the current Chair is Chiti of OpenTech Alliance, the Vice Chairman is Pedro Florida of Self Storage Management Co., the Treasurer is Pam Domingue of Storage Solutions and the Secretary is Drew Hoeven of Westport Properties. 

    Here is a quick look at each one:

    Natolie Ochi – Natolie is the President of SKS Management LLC, which currently manages 20 properties (with two additional facilities to open in 2018). The managed properties are located in prime locations throughout California and one in Hawaii. Prior to joining SKS, she worked for Sunrise Development Co., a real estate development firm, as its general manager. Natolie also worked for The Call Company and Ascolta. She joined SKS in 2003 and previously served as its vice president. She is a graduate of Stanford University and has an MBA from National University.

    Robert Chiti -- Robert has been in the technology business for over 30 years.  His career includes holding leadership roles in software development, sales, marketing, and operations of both large and small technology companies. In 2003 he founded OpenTech to create innovative solutions that would help self storage operators increase revenue, lower operating costs and improve the user experience they offer to their customers. He served as a board member for the CSSA for 5 years and is currently serves as the Chairman, in addition he is a past board member of the national Self Storage Association.

    Pedro Florida – Pedro Florida is the Executive Vice President and COO of Self Storage Management Company and has 15 years' experience as a Real Estate executive. Prior to SSMC, Mr. Florida lead the Marketing and Advertising efforts of IMBEV in South America, as Marketing Director. Pedro is a graduate from UCA with a degree in Marketing and Advertising, has a Certificate in Real Estate Development from UCLA, and has an MBA from Pepperdine University, where he serves on the Board of Mentors for executive students.

    Pam Domingue – Pam has been in the storage industry for over 10 years. She and her husband Jack started with one facility 10 years ago and now own and operate six in California and one in Hawaii. She credits the CSSA, its board members, and executive director Erin King for having been instrumental in helping her learn and navigate her way around the business. “Storage veterans are so open and helpful to their colleagues and competitors, and I consider myself fortunate now to be in a position to give back and help others. Working on the CSSA Board with such a talented group of individuals has been an amazing experience.”

    Drew Hoeven -- Drew has over 13 years of full-time real estate and self-storage experience that has included acquisitions, development, construction and operations. He currently is Principal and Chairman of Westport Properties, Inc. and US Storage Centers, Inc.  Drew graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Policy, Planning & Development. Drew is a member of the NAIOP Young Professionals Group class of 2008, NAIOP Forum member, and a board member of the YPO Orange County chapter.  Lastly, Drew is a board member and actively involved with Kure It, a non-profit that his father Barry founded to raise money for innovative cancer research for underfunded cancers. 

    “I have been fortunate to work with some incredibly talented, smart and caring individuals over the past decade,” said Erin King, executive director of the CSSA. “Our 2018 committee is a terrific example of some of those kinds of individuals. While I work closely with the entire board of directors, I do work a little more closely with the Executive Committee through out year. Each role comes with a distinct set of responsibilities and it really is a pleasure to work with each of them on the common goal of improving the association.” 

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  • Wednesday, December 27, 2017 12:29 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    CSSA Keeps Busy on Many Fronts (Successfully) in 2017

    We often gasp in amazement when watching jugglers in a circus. Their dexterity and timing are impeccable. The same could be said of the California Self Storage Association (CSSA) and its myriad efforts designed to help its members and improve the cause of self storage in the state. In 2017 the CSSA successfully juggled efforts in the realms of state legislation, education, conferences, summits and organizational makeup. The result was a very good year with many accomplishments and solid plans in place for the future.

    “Every year seems to have its own challenges and 2017 was no different for us at the CSSA,” said Erin King, executive director of the CSSA. “But with a great deal of hard work and planning, as well as support from so many people in the industry, we emerged with new legislative benefits, solid educational efforts throughout the state, some of the best conferences and summits that we’ve ever conducted and a knowledge that we are clearly on the right path.” 

    King is quick to point to the CSSA Board of Directors, the national Self Storage Association led by Tim Dietz, top industry executives who served as guest speakers and educational experts like Carlos Kaslow, Jeff Greenberger, Sue Haviland, Kenny Pratt and Rusty Myers as major contributing factors in the CSSA’s efforts in 2017.

    Here is a look at some of the accomplishments of the past year as well as future plans for 2018 and beyond:

    EDUCATION – It has always been a high priority item with the CSSA to educate its members on all aspects of self storage. Lien law classes continue to be offered throughout northern and southern California. Other subject matters addressed in 2017 included problems that owner/operators and managers can create for themselves (and how to fix them), handling tough situations like wrongful sales, unauthorized people on self storage sites, tenants under the influence and more. Greenberger and Haviland brought their expert knowledge and well-informed views to those topics and many more. 

    Two new education classes that CSSA hosted this past year included a revenue management and preventive maintenance class with Kenny Pratt and Rusty Myers held in Elk Grove as well as an owner’s technology and marketing breakfast held in Redondo Beach.

    “We plan to continue our programs with Carlos, Jeff & Sue in 2018 and are working on new classes to offer the membership in 2018,” added King. “We are proud of our educational efforts over the years but always realize there is more to be done. As our industry grows and changes, the CSSA has to not only keep up but think ahead.” 

    NAPA 2017 – And speaking of thinking ahead, when the CSSA recently branded its yearly Napa conference as OPTECH, the idea was to focus on changes in the industry and how technology can be used effectively. This past spring over 200 people gathered at the Silverado Resort & Spa to learn about a variety of topics from managing your cyber security to raising the bar on accountability. Once again, the Small Owners Meeting was well received with attendees hearing about best practices ranging from auditing, what to expect from your management company and how to better delegate tasks.

    Keynote speaker, Peter Burow, stole the show with his presentation “Tear Down the Barriers to Renting with Behavioral Economics.” As a leading behavioral strategist, Mr. Burow shared how to bring simplicity to the complex nature of human behavior by employing a combination of technology, psychology, neuroscience and behavioral economics.

    The great news to emanate from Napa was that in spite of the devastating fires that ravaged much of the area, the Silverado Resort in Napa was unharmed and the town is back in business. So the CSSA looks forward to returning to the Silverado Resort this next May.

    “This conference has become so popular that it would be hard to imagine not going to Napa,” said King. “It will be nice to give back to the Napa community.” 

    OWNERS SUMMIT 17 – The CSSA & Talonvest Capital held the 13th annual Self Storage Owners Summit at the Balboa Bay Resort on July 21. This event has become an industry favorite, not only for California operators but for self storage owners across the country. In 2017 the CSSA was especially pleased to host the entire national SSA Board of Directors and executive leadership at the summit. As in years past, the content did not disappoint the over 260 people in attendance.

    The agenda was led by the dynamic keynote speaker Spencer Levy, America’s Head of Research for CBRE. The keynote address was followed by the CEO Super Session which gave attendees access to several of the CEO’s from the REITS on the same panel. Dave Rogers from LifeStorage, Joe Margolis from Extra Space and Arlen Nordhagen from National Storage Affiliates answered questions and provided their insight on the state of the self storage industry. The event concluded with a Strategy & Investment panel led by the CEO’s of some of our industries leading private companies.

    “We are so proud to work with Talonvest every year to put on this summit,” added King. “It is hugely popular and we were particularly pleased to have the national SSA’s Board of Directors on hand to see for themselves what is being accomplished at this fabulous gathering.” 

    LEGISLATION – The CSSA, with help from the national SSA, was able to see two important pieces of legislation passed by the California legislature that will help the self storage industry in 2018. They are beneficial, but more work needs to be done…which means more effort from the CSSA and more financial support from the self storage community in California to help with lobbying efforts. 

    A first step in reforming the state’s lien law took place in 2017. The 2017 legislation, which goes into effect on January 1, 2018, was a modest preparatory effort that also cleaned up some ambiguities that had been introduced into the lien law by prior bills.   

    AB 1108 makes three changes to current law. First, it authorizes the facility operator to send lien notices by electronic mail. It also requires that the rental agreement notify the occupant that email will be used and the tenant must consent to receiving lien notices by this method. Next, it clears up an ambiguity in current law on exactly when the owner has the right to deny access, enter the space and move the property to a place of safekeeping.

    California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an amendment to the state’s Civil Code on July 21, 2017, that removes a previous requirement for self-storage rental agreements. With this change, self-storage operators and other unnecessarily impacted commercial-property owners will no longer have to include a lease notice indicating whether a facility had been inspected by a California Certified Access Specialist (CAS). Assembly Bill 1148 updates section 1938 of AB 2093 to better define the kind of commercial property for which the original legislation was intended. It went into effect immediately.

    “We couldn’t do what we do with our state legislature without the support of the national SSA,” said King. “They have donated funds and expertise to promote our agendas. But we also need support from self storage professionals in California. Money will help our cause, which in turn will help every self storage owner/operator in the state.” 

    CHANGES ON THE BOARD – Changes can be a good thing in any business realm and such is the case at the CSSA in 2017, with two Board of Director members stepping aside and four new faces joining in. Dean Keller and Kevin Staley are stepping aside while Karen Branson (owner, Northern California, Best Choice Self Storage), Jeff Higashi (Janus International), Daniel Higuera (owner, StoragePro) and Pete Watson (owner, Westport Properties) come on board.

    A special thanks must go to former CSSA Board of Directors president Keller, who has donated his time to the CSSA for many years. His commitment to the association has been active and steady and his devotion to improving life for self storage professionals in California has been unwavering. The good news is that Keller will remain a key committee member on the CSSA’s Self Storage Owners Summit committee and will work with the CSSA on its 2019 strategy session in late 2018.

    “I can’t say enough good things about Dean and Kevin,” said King. “Their intelligence, guidance and feedback have helped steer in the CSSA in such a positive direction. Many, many thanks to them both.” 

    OPERATIONS – The CSSA spent time working with an attorney who specializes in non-profit associations. With his help the CSSA reviewed current association policies to identify areas that needed improvement and updating. With his help and the approval from the Board of Directors the CSSA was able to update, formalize and implement the following policies: Code of Conduct, direct legal support policy and a harassment policy. The board also worked with counsel on a full review of CSSA bylaws to ensure the association is following all of the laws and expectations that come with being a non-profit trade association. The Board reviewed terms, definitions and roles as laid out in the bylaws. 

    “As one might imagine, it was a whirlwind of a year at the CSSA, but a very good one,” concluded King. “We have become very adept at juggling our many duties and feel that we accomplished a great deal in 2017. 2018 will present new challenges and we will be up to the task.”

     

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  • Thursday, December 07, 2017 12:31 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    PRESS RELEASE

    Simply Self Storage and OpenTech Alliance Celebrate successfully transitioning 230 facilities to the INSOMNIAC™ Live! Call Center

    Orlando, FL & Phoenix, AZ - December 1, 2017

    Simply Self Storage and OpenTech Alliance are pleased to announce successful transitioning of 230 facilities from their previous provider to the OpenTech INSOMNIAC™ Live! Call Center. The Simply Self Storage and OpenTech teams have worked closely over the past several weeks to complete this important strategic partnership with a focus on mitigating conversion risks while dramatically improving the Simply Self Storage customer’s experience with improved quality and greatly reduced customer hold times.

    “We are excited to partner with OpenTech in taking on and expanding our strategic call center capabilities. Their strong experience and flexible technology infrastructure is critical to furthering our customer engagement and supporting our company growth,” says Joe Robinson, SVP, Marketing.

    Robert A. Chiti, President and CEO of OpenTech added. “We are honored for the trust Simply Self Storage has placed in our organization and team. OpenTech has worked tirelessly to incorporate innovation, passion, and continuous process improvements into our INSOMNIAC™ Live! Call Center Services to ensure we have the tools to support Simply’s mantra to Simplify the Storage Experience for all of their customers.”

    About Simply Self Storage

    Simply Self Storage is the largest privately owned self-storage company in the United States and Puerto Rico. Founded in 2003 by Kurt O'Brien, Simply Self Storage connects customers with passionate storage experts to help simplify their lives, homes, and businesses by offering clean, safe, and stress-free options for storing their belongings. Knowledgeable team members assist in selecting a flexible solution which is convenient, simple to use, and will provide customers peace of mind knowing their belongings are safe and easily accessible.

    Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Simply Self Storage has self-storage facilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Puerto Rico. Simply Self Storage has over 18 million square feet of storage space with 233 operating self-storage facilities. 

    About OpenTech Alliance

    OpenTech Alliance, Inc. is the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self storage industry. The company’s products and services include the INSOMNIAC line of self serve kiosks, INSOMNIAC Live! call center, INSOMNIAC CIA access control system and StorageTreasures.com online storage auctions. OpenTech solutions are designed to improve the customer experience, reduce operating costs and increase revenues for self-storage facilities.

    OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. 

     

    Simply Self Storage:  
    www.simplyss.com

    OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
    2501 W. Dunlap Road, Suite 255
    Phoenix, AZ 85021
    Tel: 602.749.9370
    www.opentechalliance.com

    Media Contact:  

    Henry Perlmutter 
    Director of Marketing
    Direct Line: 602.324.8656
    hperlmutter@opentechalliance.com

    Product Information: 

    www.opentechalliance.com/call-center/
    sales@opentechalliance.com


  • Wednesday, November 29, 2017 12:31 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    (Long Beach, CA — Oct. 25, 2017) An ordinance proposed by the Long Beach City Council that’s pending before the California Coastal Commission would put 2,458 recreational vehicle (RV) owners in a bind according to research commissioned by Don Temple Storage in Long Beach.

    Long Beach-based Beeler & Associates conducted a study on behalf of Don Temple Storage and determined there are only 3,220 spots available for the 5,678 RV households in both the 908XX and 907XX ZIP code area, which contains 12 RV storage facilities available to the public. 

    That study demonstrated that all 12 facilities are at or near capacity, despite a claim by one council member, who said that the city of Carson “has lots of availability” and encouraged residents to contact her office for a list, which was never produced after multiple requests.

    Sumer Temple, owner at Don Temple Storage, said that “While I see the need for a consistent RV street parking ordinance I also have to ask what comes next? We are almost at full capacity citywide on RV and boat spaces. I’m asking the city council to think to the next step after the ordinance is passed, because the lack of spaces available is only going to get worse.”

    She noted that high land values make it unfeasible for private investors to build more RV storage facilities and get a return on their investment, adding that the city does own land at Long Beach Airport that could be leased to operators for RV storage purposes, which would help to alleviate the problem.

    Vehicles that exceed 85 inches high, 80 inches wide or 22 feet long would be prohibited from residential street parking under the proposed law. Typically those include RVs and boats with trailers.

    Nick Walker, a senior vice president with the CBRE self storage advisory group, stated “When a group of residents or a city official is biased against self storage development, it’s usually because they’re uniformed. Some municipalities continue to see self storage circa 1980.” CBRE Group is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm.

    There is a trend among cities nationwide to prohibit residential parking of RVs for aesthetic and safety reasons. Another trend is growing ownership of RVs – as much as 8.5 percent of U.S. households – according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association in Renton, Virginia.

    Don Temple Storage at 3750 E. Spring St. in Long Beach was the first self-storage facility in the Los Angeles basin, founded in July 1968 through the pioneering efforts of Don Temple, who passed away in March 2013. His daughter, Sumer, is the new owner. Next year the company will be observing its 50th anniversary.

    #   #   # 

    Contact: Jay Beeler, 562-597-9000jay@beeler.co 

    The Facts on RV Storage Capacity in the Greater Long Beach Area 

    Introduction

    On June 13, 2017, Long Beach council members passed a motion to amend current municipal code section 10.24.078 to “prohibit parking of oversized and recreational vehicles on city rights-of-way within residential neighborhoods.” The California Coastal Commission must review and certify the ordinance before the city council approves it.

    Vehicles that exceed 85 inches high, 80 inches wide, or 22 feet long would be considered oversized under the law, a change from the current 20-foot-long rule. Typical oversized vehicles include RVs, boats and trailers with equipment on or attached to them. 

    Councilwoman Suzie Price spearheaded the ordinance, stating “We know that there is RV [parking] availability… Carson has lots of availability right now.” Multiple attempts to get a list of such facilities went unanswered.

    In August, Don Temple Storage in Long Beach retained the services of Beeler & Associates (B&A), a Long Beach-based marketing communications firm, to examine the availability of RV storage facilities in the greater Long Beach area. Don Temple Storage was the first self storage facility in the Los Angeles basin, founded in July 1968, and will be observing its 50th anniversary in 2018.

    B&A Research on RV Storage Availability

    Note: Data provided by 2016 US Census Bureau household statistics in comparison with online commercial data sources for RV households.

    • US Households:                135,697,926
    • RV Households:                8.989,425
    • Percentage:                       6.6%
    • Calif. Households:            14,060,525
    •  Calif. RV Households:     286,686
    • Percentage:                       1.9%
    • LA Co. Households:         3,520,627
    • LA Co. RV Households:  38,257
    • Percentage:                       1.1%
    • LB Households:                 176,032
    • LB RV Households:          2,178
    • Percentage:                       1.2%

    In the greater Long Beach area, encompassing ZIP Codes 908XX and 907XX, there are a total of 5,678 RV households. 907XX includes the cities of Carson, Lakewood, Bellflower, Cerritos, Cypress and other communities contiguous to Long Beach.

    B&A surveyed RV storage facilities within the above geographic boundary and counted 3,578 storage spaces among the 12 such facilities open to the public. Of those spaces, approximately ten percent were used for boat and/or boat trailers, leaving 3,220 spots open for RV storage purposes.

    Key Finding: Subtracting the 3,220 local spots open for RV storage from the 5,678 local RV households, leaves 2,458 RV owners with no other place to park their vehicle except their own driveway.

    Most of the RV spots in the study demonstrated that all 12 facilities were operating at or near capacity. They maintain a long waiting list of interested customers, according to phone interviews.

    Self storage trade areas are typically a three-mile ring within a minimum population of 50,000, according to a recent CBRE Self Storage Construction Report. CBRE Group is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm.

    RVIA Research

    In 2011 the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) commissioned the University of Michigan to conduct its eighth national survey of RV owners. Their RV Consumer Demographic Profile revealed:

    • The typical RV owner is 48 years old
    • Their median income is $62,000
    • 39 percent of RV owners had children under 18 living at home
    • RV owners aged 35-54 posted the largest gains in ownership rates, rising to 11.2 percent in 2011 from 9.0 percent in 2005
    • Ownership also edged higher among those aged 55 or older, rising to 9.3 percent from 8.6 percent in 2005

    RVIA, based in Renton, Virginia, is the national association representing nearly 400 manufacturers and component suppliers producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.

    Conclusion

    Online news sources report that there is a growing trend among U.S. cities to ban RV parking on residential streets for both aesthetic and safety reasons. Concurrently the number of RV owners nationwide has grown to 8.5 percent of U.S. households, up from 8.0 percent in 2005, according to the RVIA.

    Local land values make it unfeasible for private investors to develop more RV storage capacity in consideration of the fact that existing facilities are at or near capacity. A similar condition exists for the rental of storage lockers unless they are multi-level; there is growing demand for these facilities by the younger generation as well.

    The Long Beach City Council’s ban of recreational vehicles from residential streets is short-sighted in consideration of the fact that 2,458 RV owners have no alternative to parking other than their own driveway. The City of Long Beach does have the ability to lease some of its own land at Long Beach Airport to address the problem being created by its pending RV ban

    Don Temple Storage encourages the city to think beyond passage of the ordinance in that the problem will only get worse as demand for storage spaces increase.

  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017 1:33 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    The California legislature has passed and the Governor has signed AB 1148.  The bill amends California Civil Code section 1938 that requires commercial landlords to make extensive lease or rental agreement disclosures on whether their property had or had not been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist.  The law was created with designed to facilitate the rental of traditional commercial properties such as retail and offices where the landlord and the tenant have an overlapping obligation on handicapped individual access to the property.  The law created an impractical disclosure nightmare for the state’s self storage operators.   AB 1148 added just a single sentence to Civil Code section 1938:

     

    (f) As used in this section, “commercial property” means property that is offered for rent or lease to persons operating, or intending to operate, a place of public accommodation as defined in Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, Part 2, Chapter 2, Section 202, or a facility to which the general public is invited, at those premises.

    This new definition of commercial property excludes self storage facilities from the code section in two ways.   First, self storage is not “a place of public accommodation” as that term is defined in the California Code of Regulation.   Self storage is not on the extensive list of occupancies that are defined as “a place of public accommodation”.  This sentence also requires that the occupancy be a facility to which the general public is invited.  While the public is invited to rent and use self storage facilities, the general public is not invited to use the individual rented spaces.  Only the tenant may use the space and the space may only be used for the storage of the tenant’s personal property. 

    While the law no longer requires self storage operators to include the rental agreement disclosures otherwise required by Civil Code section 1938, it does not relieve self storage operators from full compliance with both the Americans with Disabilities Act and California handicapped access laws and regulations.  Storage operators must also be careful to limit their tenants’ activities to storage of personal.  A tenant who runs a business out of a storage unit may have a space open to the general public.  

    Storage operators whose facilities include office, retail or any premises that is open to the public must continue to include the statutory inspection disclosure language in the lease of those premises.  For example, an operator who has office and storage combination rentals is required to include the statutory handicapped access inspection language in the rental agreement.  This would include a tenant running a flea market or repair shop in a space.  If a storage operator sees non-tenants going to and from a space, a conversation with the tenant about exactly how a self storage space may be used is in order.  The storage space may only be used by the tenant solely for storage purposes. 


  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017 1:29 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    The California and national Self Storage Associations took a first step in reforming the state’s lien law this year.  Both organizations will be working with the California legislature to bring additional reform in 2018 and in the 2019/2020 legislative session.   The organizations have determined that the one-and-done approach does not work in a state as complex as California, and that the self storage industry needs a permanent presence in the state to achieve its long-term legislative goals.   The 2017 legislation, which goes into effect on January 1, 2018, was a modest preparatory effort that also cleaned up some ambiguities that had been introduced into the lien law by prior bills.  

    AB 1108 makes three changes to current law.  First, it authorizes the facility operator to send lien notices by electronic mail.  It also requires that the rental agreement notify the occupant that email will be used and the tenant must consent to receiving lien notices by this method.   Next, it clears up an ambiguity in current law on exactly when the owner has the right to deny access, enter the space and move the property to a place of safekeeping.   Revised Business and Professions Code section 21705 now states:

     (a) If the notice has been sent as required by Section 21703 and the total sum due has not been paid by the termination date specified in the preliminary lien notice,… [Changed language is underlined]

    These important rights clearly accrue when the occupant does not pay the total sum due by the date stated in the Preliminary Lien Notice.   The prior statutory language was not clear on this point.

    Finally, AB 1108 revises Business and Professions Code section 21707 (b) as follows:

    (b) For the purposes of this section, publication of notice in a public notice district is governed by Chapter 1.1 (commencing with Section 6080) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code. For the purposes of this section, a commercially reasonable manner of sale includes, but is not limited to, an in-person auction or a sale on a publicly accessible Internet Web site that customarily conducts online auctions or sales. [New statutory language is underlines]

    This change in the law specifically authorizes a self storage operator to conduct a lien sale on a website that customarily conducts online lien sales.  This would include websites such as Ibid4Storage and Storage Treasures.   

    The state imposed significant regulation on the use of email to send lien notices.  First, the owner must modify the rental agreement to include a statement that lien notices may be sent to the occupant and to the alternate by electronic mail and the occupant must provide a written signature on the rental agreement consenting to receive lien notices by electronic mail.  In addition, the law details in technical terms how a complying email notice must be sent.  The facility operator must have a system in place whereby actual delivery and receipt may be proved.  There is language that suggests that the operator must be able to show that the email was opened.   This is difficult to prove and the delinquent customer can avoid effective notice simply by not opening the email. 

    It should be noted that the changes authorizing sending notices by email will expire on January 1, 2021.  The very restrictive 2018 changes are temporary, and the legislature will provide permanent regulations governing the use of email in self storage lien notification in the next legislative session.  The CSSA and the SSA will be working with the legislature to develop better rules governing how email lien notice may be sent. 

    “The CSSA believes that email notification should have the same legal status as a notice sent by USPS,” said Erin King, CSSA Executive Director.   “A mailed lien notice only has to be deposited with the USPS, properly addressed with postage pre-paid.  The law should not require that an email notice is only effective when the owner has proof of the tenant’s opening the email.”       

    The California Self Storage Association with the permission of the Self Storage Association is sharing this article.


  • Tuesday, October 03, 2017 1:34 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    On September 12, 2017, the California Department of Insurance, in a reversal of its previous and long-standing legal position, filed a brief with the California Supreme Court expressing its opinions on the legal issues involved in the Heckart case, which is currently before the California Supreme Court. The specific issue before the Court is: Does a self-storage facility’s storage rental agreement offering an addendum under which the facility assumed liability for damage to stored property constitute insurance subject to regulation under the Insurance Code when the principal object of the agreement between the parties was the rental of storage space rather than the shifting and distribution of risk? 

     

    The underlying trial court and the California Court of Appeal (4th App. Dist., Div 1) answered this question in the negative and determined that the rental agreement and addendum at issue in Heckart do not constitute insurance subject to regulation under the Insurance Code. These determinations are in line with other cases in which courts have long affirmed the right of contracting parties to allocate risk within their agreements when incidental to the principal object of such agreements. 

     

    Deans & Homer developed the concept of the “Protection Plan” for the self-storage industry after consultation with the legal division of the California Department of Insurance. 

     

    Deans & Homer respectfully disagrees with opinions expressed by the California Department of Insurance in its amicus brief and it strongly believes that the fundamental legal tenets that led to the development of this program are valid. Deans & Homer continues to believe that the protection program does not constitute insurance.


  • Wednesday, September 27, 2017 1:34 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    Shannon Charbonneau
    Director of Client Relations
    scharbonneau@xpsusa.com
    877-XPS-USA1 x4304
    www.xpsusa.com

    XPS Solutions Announces Partnership with Storelocal
    RICHARDSON, TX, September 20, 2017
    XPS Solutions is pleased to announce the approved partnership with storelocal, a self-storage industry co-op created and owned by independent storage operators that develops and provides education, services and technology to increase profitability of its members.
    XPS Solutions provides call center services specifically for independent self-storage operators. Beginning with standard call center services in 2000, the service platform has been expanded throughout the years to include:
    • Full integration with all major storage software management systems
    • Call recording
    • Live chat
    • Web form responses
    • Payment processing
    As well as pioneering brand new concepts such as:
    • Rent Rewards – electronic gift card program to help you secure more tenants
    • ResQue – outbound follow up campaign
    • MyStorPal – downloadable app designed specifically for your tenants
    Mike Roberts, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Operations for XPS Solutions says of the partnership, “XPS Solutions sees this as a natural fit for our two organizations. Storelocal adds value for their members through technology and industry expertise to help independent operators compete with the REIT’s. The XPS Solutions technology platform is a perfect fit to support these operators. “
    Travis Morrow, storelocal Board member and chair of the co-op’s Partner Relations Committee, noted that the committee reviewed a number of call center solutions. “The committee ultimately went with XPS because of their state-of-the-art call center facility, as well as their reputation for exemplary customer service. We are pleased to be adding a call center to the list of storelocal partnerships”.

    XPS Solutions is a Call Center Solution designed to increase rentals and tenant length of stay by being available to help to the property staff when they need it most!

    For more information on XPS Solutions contact Mike Roberts at 972-865-4312 or mroberts@xpsusa.com


  • Monday, August 21, 2017 1:30 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

    California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an amendment to the state’s Civil Code on July 21 that removes a previous requirement for self-storage rental agreements. With this change, self-storage operators and other unnecessarily impacted commercial-property owners will no longer have to include a lease notice indicating whether a facility had been inspected by a California Certified Access Specialist (CAS). Assembly Bill 1148 (AB 1148) updates section 1938 of AB 2093 to better define the kind of commercial property for which the original legislation was intended. It went into effect immediately.

    Though the measure doesn’t specifically exclude self-storage, it defines the type of commercial properties originally targeted by the CAS requirement as those “for rent or lease to persons operating, or intending to operate, a place of public accommodation, or facility to where the general public is invited at those premises.” In its analysis of the bill, the Senate Judiciary Committee indicated members of the senate also sought to clarify what was meant by “public accommodation.”

    The amendment was supported by the California Self Storage Association (CSSA) and national Self Storage Association (SSA), along with several building groups. It was also unopposed by disability advocacy groups, according to an Aug. 14 e-mail newsletter to SSA members. In its statement in favor of the bill, the CSSA wrote that AB 2093 “had the unintended effect of applying to self-storage units,” a notion supported by the California Chamber of Commerce, according to the committee’s analysis. In its statement to the legislature, the chamber wrote, “This is not the type of property that is appropriate for a Certified Access Specialist inspection, and therefore, the mandated lease language in AB 2093 is not applicable.”

    “California legislators understood that self-storage should not be covered by [Americans With Disabilities Act] access-disclosure law," Tim Dietz, president and CEO of the SSA, said in the newsletter. "The California legislature acted swiftly to correct a real problem for the state's storage industry." 

    CSSA is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to supporting the self-storage industry in California. The group offers educational events, networking opportunities, legislative advocacy and more.

    Founded in 1975, the SSA represents more than 22,000 U.S. self-storage facilities and approximately 12,000 international facilities, according to its website. It’s affiliated with several state and international self-storage associations and currently has 5,500 members.


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