Executive orders in New York state prevent landlords from evicting tenants, but no similar protections exist for self-storage units. That may spell trouble for people currently unable to pay the fees on those units.
The contents of hundreds of self-storage units will head to auction in the next few weeks, The City reported. About 175 units at Public Storage facilities are set to go up for auction this week with another 849 up for bid in November.
Its competitor, CubeSmart, also has online auctions planned for units at 49 of its New York City locations next month, according to CubeSmart’s website.
Under state law, storage facilities are granted a lien on the belongings in them. As a result, storage companies can auction off people’s possessions as opposed to just stopping services to customers who cannot afford to pay rent and late fees, according to The City.
This process was popularized in the TV show “Storage Wars.”
Lisa Pearlstein, director of the City Bar Justice Center’s Legal Clinic for the Homeless, asked the law firm, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, to see if there could be a moratorium on auctions. The law firm said a pause on auctions would require executive action from the governor or the state legislature to modify the law that governs storage.
[The City] — Keith Larsen