Storage unit owners in Indiana have secured a major victory as a new law grants them greater authority to seize defaulted units and auction off their contents at a faster pace than ever before.
This new law, known as House Enrolled Act 1621, will expedite the grace periods currently afforded to renters, allowing storage companies to seize the renter’s unit only five days after a missed payment and send the items to auction after 60 days.
Previously, under Indiana law, renters were granted 30 days after missing a payment before the owner could place a lock on the unit and seize the property stored within. Once the default extended to 90 days, storage owners could auction off the contents of the unit. However, the new law will dramatically reduce these grace periods, leading to quicker seizures and shorter timeframes before auctions.
The bill was originally authored by Rep. Zach Payne (R-Charlestown) and was sponsored by Republican State Senators Gary Byrne, Andy Zay, and Scott Alexander. It was passed through the House on a 62-27 vote and passed the Senate 40-2. The Indiana Self Storage Association and storage unit owners alike lobbied for this new law, which will provide greater protection for businesses in this industry.
Under the new law, storage owners are required to send written notice via email or verified mail to the renter’s last known address with a demand for payment within 30 days of the mailing of the notice. If payment is not made, the renter can be denied access to their stored goods only five days after a missed payment, which would leave them unable to move the property out of the unit until payment is made. Additionally, the owner is also permitted to move the renter’s personal property to another storage space until payment is made or an auction is held.
With these new regulations in place, Indiana storage unit owners can operate their businesses more effectively and protect themselves against renters who are in default of their payments. The law is set to take effect on July 1st and is expected to have a significant impact on the storage unit industry in Indiana.