Minnesota Liens on Personal Property in Self-Storage Act and the Significant 2021 Amendment

Self-Storage Act

Minnesota Liens on Personal Property in Self-Storage Act and the Significant 2021 Amendment

The Minnesota Liens on Personal Property in Self-Service Storage Act (the “Self-Storage Act”) located at Sections 514.970 to 514.979, provides self-storage owners with a very powerful and non-judicial (meaning, outside of the courts) foreclosure process to address situations in which self-storage tenants fail to pay rent.  The Act allows the self-storage owners a lien on the tenant’s property and the ability to sell the tenant’s property to satisfy the owner’s lien for past due rents and other fees.  This is sometimes a necessary and prevailing tool for the successful operation of a storage facility, and one that every self-storage owner should be familiar with.

In order to successfully utilize the lien and sale process under the Self-Storage Act, owners must carefully and strictly adhere to the requirements of the Self-Storage Act.  This starts with a carefully drafted rental agreement that incorporates all of the required elements and one which ensures that the lien attaches to the tenant’s stored property.  The Self-Storage Act, as well as Minnesota case law, allows the self-storage owner to incorporate additional risk limiting elements in their rental agreement in order to protect the owner from pitfalls and loss.

For example, the Self-Storage Act permits owners to provide lien notices via verified mail, and even allows the notices and correspondence to be delivered by email.  If done properly, email is the best and most efficient option for owners to send notices to their tenants, as long as it is contained in the rental agreement and/or with written consent of the tenant.  Not only is email more efficient and cost-effective, unlike physical addresses, email addresses typically remain the same when an individual moves.

Another element we recommend owners put into their rental agreement is a contractual value limitation, which expressly permits the owner to limit the value of goods that may be stored within the tenant’s individual unit.  While the Self-Storage Act provides the value limit in Minnesota must be at least $1,000, we recommend a value limitation somewhat higher in order to be safe and not be held as unreasonable by the courts.

The Self-Storage Act also allows owners to sell a titled vehicle in order to recoup due and owing rental payments.  The process can be cumbersome, however, we can help guide owners through this process.

Owners must understand and fully comply with all sections of the Self-Storage Act to be successful.

This year the Minnesota legislature made several significant amendments to the Self-Storage Act, including, among other things, amendments to the denial of access requirements, the personal property tenants, and now their authorized representative, are allowed to access and retrieve after default or denial of access, as well as the notices to be presented to tenants and the method for which notices are presented.

Parker Daniels Kibort is a full-service litigation law firm headquartered downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We have extensive experience representing self-storage companies in tenant evictions, as well as defending personal injury lawsuits, lien foreclosures, property damage claims, liability issues, and wrongful auctions/evictions. We also provide advice and representation to our clients on the self-storage acts, lease agreements, employment and labor matters, and commercial real estate services, including commercial property tax appeals.  We handle matters in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and North Dakota.

We have a proven record of success at the highest levels for our clients.  We are organized to attack cases with efficient, responsive representation.

Our Founding Principles:

  • RESPONSIVENESS – We live with an attitude of accessibility. We are available and ready to respond to your questions or concerns 24/7, all week, every week.
  • RESULTS – We win with an aggressive unrelenting approach to trial, our track record is, put simply, unmatched.
  • RELATIONSHIPS – We work closely with our clients and routinely develop long-lasting relationships harkening back to the days of lawyer as counselor, confidant, and close advisor.

We live our banner motto – WISE COUNSEL, WINNING RESULTS.

Parker Daniels Kibort is a member of both the Self-Storage Association and the Minnesota Self-Storage Association.

Do you have a legal question regarding Minnesota’s Self-Storage Act or your self-storage company? Give Jesse H. Kibort, Esq., of Parker Daniels Kibort a call at 612.355.4100.