Have you ever wondered what happens to items left in abandoned storage units? Perhaps you’re curious about why these units get abandoned in the first place. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs of abandoned self storage.
Why do units get ‘abandoned’
Nine times out of 10, a storage unit becomes abandoned for one simple reason: the customer either can’t or won’t pay their rental bill. Typically, the storage facility will chase the customer for a certain period of time, after which they will have no choice but to clear out the unit to make way for another customer.
Storage facilities can lose a significant amount of revenue as a result of missed payments, which is why the decision has to be made to clear the unit out at some point.
What happens to the items inside?
If the customer can’t be contacted, the storage facility will have no choice but to either sell or dispose of the items. If there are any items of value, they will be sold to help recoup any revenue that’s been lost as a result of the customer not paying their bill.
Particularly valuable items will typically be sold online or auctioned off separately. If there’s nothing of any particular value, the entire contents of the unit may be auctioned off as a job lot, but don’t be fooled by what you see on TV; there are no ‘mystery auctions’ in reality, as bidders are aware of exactly what they’re competing for as soon as the auction starts! The auctions are usually held online too, with eBay being perhaps the most popular platform.
If there are no items in the unit worth selling, they will be donated to charity where possible. Disposing of the items is always a last resort, although in some cases this is the only option.