How to avoid fraudulent storage facilities

Let`s start with an interesting fact, shall we? There are over 60,000 storage facilities in the United States, which accounts for more than two-thirds of storage units worldwide! The presence of so many facilities in the country leads us to the conclusion that an average American must have a lot of items collected over the years, and not needed anymore. Once those units start making daily life next to impossible, he/she will get in pursuit of a storage unit. And with over 60,000 facilities, the options are limitless. However, somewhere between those 60,000 units, fraud is lurking. In order to avoid fraudulent storage facilities, you have to be extra careful, and not let yourself get easily carried away!

Common storage scams

There are many ways the owners of fraudulent storage facilities can scam you. They have gotten pretty sneaky about their fraudulent ways so that you are not aware you are being scammed up until the moment you are left without some or all of your belongings/money. The only way to know how to protect yourself and avoid fraud is by learning how these facilities operate, and how they scam their clients. Following are five of the most common storage scams Moving of America – NJ Movers thinks you should know about!

A red button on a white keyboard.
Owners of fraudulent storage facilities are always coming up with new ways of scamming you out of money!
  1. Additional charges that appear after you rent a storage unit are the most common storage scam. You sign a contract for a low-ball price, only to discover additional fees for necessities such as utilities and insurance.
  2. Unclean storage units, which were presented and advertised as clean and secure. If you want to avoid pests settling into your furniture, you must learn how to avoid fraudulent storage facilities that are not sanitary.
  3. Not so rarely, it happens that the owners of storage facilities are actually accomplices to theft. Since you give them the right to enter your unit by signing a contract, taking any legal action against them is difficult.
  4. If you get behind with your payments, the owner of the facility is allowed to sell your items. Oftentimes, the owners will make themselves unavailable for payments on purpose and thus, get the right for an overdue rent.
  5.  Small details are often hiding in the fine print of the contract you are signing. If not careful, the owners can easily make you responsible for something you did not agree to, turning your life into a living nightmare.

Not all is lost!

After reading all the different ways you can lose your money, and patience, you might exasperate. But, there is no need to worry if you are looking for a storage unit in New Jersey. There are plenty of safe and certified storage units NJ based, and it is just a matter of finding them.

A security guard.
Not all storage facilities are fraudulent. Some even have on-sight security in a few different forms, protecting your items from theft.

The best way to avoid fraudulent storage facilities

If in-house storage solutions are not an option for you, what else is there to do but look for reliable storage facilities? Pay attention to these things, and you should not have any problems!

It`s all about research

These days, people don`t give leaving online comments a second thought. This works in your favor, as it will be easy to find out everything about the facility you are considering. Want to know whether they give importance to having a clean storage unit? Go online. Interested to find out whether they have ever scammed anyone? The Internet will be your ally.

Always inspect the property

The only thing you can trust is what you see with your eyes. Before saying yes to a storage unit, make it your duty to inspect the unit. Check the conditions inside, and whether the majority of the units are occupied. If they are not, it may be a cause for concern for obvious reasons. Moreover, if you will be storing items such as valuable artwork, it is a reason to be even more careful. You need to consult with fine art movers NJ to see when they can help you transport your valuables, and you need to find a climate-controlled unit. Only a climate-controlled storage unit can keep your collectibles, valuables and wood furniture safe from mold and pests.

A treasure chest.
If storing valuables, you need to be even more careful and avoid fraudulent storage facilities at all cost!

Look at the fine print

We have already mentioned how people can be easily scammed out of their money simply by not paying attention to the fine print. Owners of the fraudulent storage facilities know that you are busy, and probably don`t have too much time to waste on the careful reading of the contract. And, one of the main lessons they teach you in the corporate world is that you should always read the contract and pay attention to every word. It is the best way to avoid fraudulent storage facilities, and save yourself from a lot of trouble!

Check for membership

If a storage facility you are considering is a member of the Self Storage Association, the chances are that it is legitimate, and not fraudulent. Of course, there can never be any guarantees. However, you can relax a bit, as you have probably come across a secure and reliable facility.

Inspect your unit regularly

Once you take a leap of faith and rent a unit, your job is not over. You still need to make sure that things keep running smoothly. Therefore, you should make it a monthly occurrence to visit your storage unit. Take a look around it, and see whether there are any items missing. If you notice any irregularities, don`t hesitate to look for another facility.

Sometimes, prevention is not enough to avoid fraudulent storage facilities. In case you fall prey to scammers, make sure you get out in time. By keeping close tabs on your unit, you will be able to quickly assess the situation.

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