When you’re shopping for a self-storage facility, you want to make sure your belongings will be in good hands. However, every self-storage costumer has his or her own list of priorities when it comes to renting a storage unit.

Here are four factors you should weigh before signing a self-storage rental contract.

1. Security

Obviously, this is a key concern if you’re storing things like important records or monetarily or sentimentally valuable items.

Some facilities go the extra mile in this regard, providing a an array of sophisticated security measures, such as gate access codes, state-of-the-art lighting, video surveillance and individual unit protection. Of course, rental rates likely will reflect this additional protection. So, if you’re just looking to park some regular household goods, a basic unit at a safe facility, along with a strong lock, might do the trick.

2. Environment

It’s a safe bet that you don’t want your stuff—regardless of value—to wind up soggy, mildewed or chewed up.

Generally, an interior climate-controlled unit is a good way to protect your items from the elements, but you should get extra insight by asking these questions:

  • Have recent upgrades been made that suggest a commitment to protecting your goods?
  • In regions where insect or rodent infestations are common, what measures does the facility take to control the problem?
  • Is there anything that suggests a potential fire hazard?

3. Convenience

Convenience doesn’t just involve figuring out how far a facility is from your home. This also refers to:

  • Easy access to information about a facility. For instance, are a facility’s prices displayed prominently on its website?
  • Easy signup procedures and ongoing customer support. Example: Does the facility make it practically effortless to pay rent online?
  • Easy access at a facility. For instance, does the facility offer drive-up units?

4. Insurance

Some self-storage facilities offer insurance to tenants. Such a policy might be a smart investment, particularly if you don’t have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. If you already have insurance for your home or apartment, check with your insurance company to make sure property stored off-site would be covered.

Final Note

In the end, you should pick a self-storage facility that clearly meets your criteria. If you’re in doubt about a certain facility, you’re better off renting elsewhere so that you’ve got adequate protection for your belongings—along with peace of mind.

Mark Lusky