How to Save Your Possessions if Public Storage Threatens to Sell Them Due to Payment Default

Joel Eisenberg

Working closely with a store manager, for one, is highly advised.
Public StoragePhoto

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets:,,, and


Wikipedia features a comprehensive and highly-attributed overview of the Public Storage chain: Public Storage is an American international self storage company headquartered in Glendale, California, that is run as a real estate investment trust (REIT). It is the largest brand of self-storage services in the US. In 2008, it was the largest of four publicly traded storage REITs.[5] There are more than 2,200 Public Storage self-storage locations in the US, Canada and Europe. It also owns 42 percent of an office parks subsidiary, sells packing supplies, and provides other services. As a REIT, it is owned by real estate investors, who receive more than 90 percent of the company's profits as a return-on-investment.

Per, the company presently services over 2200 locations throughout the U.S.

Though Public Storage may be the largest such facility in the U.S. in terms of location count (and among the oldest, founded in 1972), so-called “self-storage units” prevail throughout the country. In instances when rental payments are not kept current or near-current, however, regardless of company a customer risks losing their possessions.

Let us explore further.

Self-Storage, 2022

According to law-related website, in its piece titled “My Storage Facility Is Threatening to Sell My Stuff! What Now?” proactive customers in the midst of financial difficulties may not be out of options in the event of late payments.

As excerpted from the article: The thought of losing one's possessions is heartbreaking and frightening. Many people use storage units to hold irreplaceable items, such as family heirlooms and original legal documents, in addition to clothing, furniture, and so on. If, however, you haven't paid your rent in the storage facility for a number of months, it is not uncommon for the facility to threaten to sell (or discard) your possessions, often via an auction. This is ordinarily legal, so long as the storage facility gives notice of your default (nonpayment) and follows other procedures laid out in its contract with you.

Rules do vary from state to state and company to company; regardless — similar to working with creditors — keeping in regular contact with the entity and working out payment plans is usually a net positive on the customer’s part.

The article further states: Now is also the time to review the fine print of your contract, starting with its definition of when you're in default. Expect to see something set between five and 30 days after payment was due. At the point of default, the contract might explain that you will be denied access to your storage unit altogether. Although unlikely, there's a chance your contract violates the terms of your state's law, so contact a lawyer if you're seeing clauses that seem too egregious to be legal.

Per Public Storage terms specifically, features a review of the entity that addresses relative contractual items: When is Public Storage payment late? Payment is due for your Public Storage unit on the first day of the month. A late fee will go into effect seven days after your missed payment. How much is Public Storage's late fee? If your monthly payment is late, Public Storage will charge a late fee that is equal to a percentage of your total rent amount—usually 20%. If you do not pay your rent and late fee within 30 days, the fee will be increased. As for when Public Storage can reclaim your unit, the laws vary by state and the exact amount of time before your unit (and your belongings) will no longer be accessible to you can be found on your rental contract.

The best advice, per multiple online accounts, is to catch up on payments, and/or work closely with a store manager to devise a workable payment plan.


As laws regarding defaulted storage rental payments vary from state to state and company to company, changes in forfeit terms are common.

In the event of pertinent updates on such matters, I will share them here on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA

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