Citywide self-storage customers now struggling to cover the monthly bill would get a reprieve under a new measure put forward in the City Council.
Councilmember David Ryu, who has been at the forefront of residential tenant protections, wants the city to bar self-storage operators from auctioning off units or clearing them out when customers fall behind on payments, according to the L.A. Times.
In mid-March the city imposed a moratorium on both residential and commercial evictions, but self-storage units fall outside those guidelines.
The facilities are considered essential so they can remain open under the statewide stay-at-home order that shuttered most businesses to contain the spread of the coronavirus. As of now, the question of what to do about unpaid units is left to self-storage facility operators — some have halted evictions and others are giving their location managers discretion.
One of the largest, Public Storage, has halted evictions at its L.A. County facilities through May. Extra Space Storage is doing the same and allowing managers to draw up repayment plans and the like with customers.
Ryu argued that self-storage customers find themselves choosing between following government requests to stay home or risk their safety to retrieve their belongings.
“It’s literally, do you risk your life to go out there to rummage through all the stuff to try to see what you could salvage? Or do you lose it all?” he said.
Mayor Eric Garcetti signaled last week he was “absolutely open” to a self-storage ordinance. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch