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Storage Unit Legalities: When Family Members Do or Do Not Have Authority to Enter a Unit without the Renter’s Consent?

Storage units are a secure and viable option when you need to stow surplus goods, relocate or are just short on space. When you rent a storage unit, you enter into a contract with the storage facility. As part of that contract, the facility makes all reasonable efforts to secure your possessions from unlawful intrusion, and that may include intrusion by your family. However, there are times when family members may have the right to enter your storage unit without expressed consent from you.

Power of Attorney. A renter can relinquish rental authority by designating a power of attorney or including such in a will.

Proof of Death and Family Relationship. In the event that a storage unit renter passes away, family members may access the unit if:

  • They already have access to the keys and/or codes used to secure the unit
  • They have proof of the renter’s death and identity that demonstrates their familial relationship

It is important to note that this type of access is only possible if the manager is not required to cut locks or give out access codes to allow you to enter the storage unit.

If a family member does not have access codes or the appropriate key, the family member will need to show a copy of the death certificate and a court order stating that the family member has been appointed the executor of the estate.

There are ways to prevent access issues in the event that a renter is ill or deceased. A third-party may be added to the rental agreement, and the level of third-party access may be limited in the contract.

To learn more about legal access issues, please contact us. We can help you understand what may be needed to enter a family member’s unit if consent is not possible.