The insanely high expensive rent has forced lots of individuals and families to take a second and even a third job yet couldn’t meet up with the payment when due. It is quite disheartening when some people opt for a storage unit as a home to live in. Well, not everyone as some good amount of people still live with their family or friends, in the shelter, or their car.
For those experiencing housing insecurity, living in a storage unit may appear to be a viable option. After all, the monthly rent is low, and it offers privacy and security, but also lacks some basic things needed.
However, amid such a situation, where would you go if you were suddenly evicted from your place of comfort due to financial hardship or natural disaster? A storage unit may appear to be a viable option, but it is neither sustainable nor safe.
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons available when living in a storage unit.
Can I live in a storage unit legally?
The simple answer is No, It’s not legal.
Various local and federal housing laws make it illegal to live in a storage unit. To comply with the law and most insurance policies, storage facilities must evict any person discovered living on the premises.
This restriction is in place for a reason. To begin with, living in a storage unit is risky and with the discovery of several people found dead in a storage unit. This has sparked lots of interest and negative opinions and laws backed up by such.
In another case, due to health concerns, it is dangerous to live especially alone as any spike may affect such a person and lead to death without no form of assistance. Police were forced to evacuate several residents from a storage facility. It is also illegal to live in an area that is not zoned for residential use, according to the authorities.
Also, since these facilities are not zoned for residential use, allowing people to live there may land them in hot water. Storage facilities also have insurance policies that forbid people from living in the units especially traditional storage facilities are also hazardous to human habitation due to factors such as fire hazards and a lack of basic housing amenities. As a result, any storage facility that discovers people living in its units must evict them for legal, insurance, and safety reasons.
Reasons why living in the storage unit is dangerous
#1. It is illegal under the law.
To begin with, it is against the law for people to live in storage units. This includes both local and federal laws requiring storage facilities to evict anyone attempting to live in their units. Any law-abiding storage facility requires its tenants to sign a contract stating that they will be unable to live in their units. Most facilities now have surveillance cameras, which allow people to be caught quickly and face criminal or civil penalties. Of course, living in a storage unit for $100-$200 per month can save people money on rent, but the civil fines they could face if caught could be much higher.
#2. Building Regulations
Building codes for single-family homes differ greatly from those for storage units. Homes must have protections such as smoke and fire protections, as well as multiple points of entry and exit in case of an emergency. Homes (and commercial buildings) are built with many extra safeguards and must adhere to stricter regulations for obvious reasons. Because storage units are not intended to be lived in, building codes are less stringent.
#3. Natural disasters
Many storage units pose a variety of hazards, including natural disasters such as fires, floods, and tornadoes. If a unit catches fire or is hit by flash flooding or a tornado, someone inside may not be able to escape in time. Storage units, in most cases, lack windows, resulting in a lack of natural ventilation. There have even been reports of people cooking inside storage units, which can lead to a fire due to a lack of open air and minimal ventilation.
Living in a storage facility raises several major safety concerns. Self-storage facilities were not intended for human habitation. As a result, they provide poor living conditions, and staying in one is dangerous.
Some disadvantages of living in a storage unit include:
- Fire risks. Using electricity within a storage unit significantly increases the risk of a fire. Furthermore, if you live in a storage facility, you will almost certainly need to cook. Using a hotplate or toaster oven in a unit, on the other hand, significantly increases the risk of a fire.
- The majority of storage units are nothing more than small concrete boxes with no windows. While this is fine for your possessions, it may be very depressing for you. Staying in a storage unit can feel like a dungeon and is detrimental to one’s mental health.
- In many storage facilities, there are no electrical outlets in the units. Wiring your unit for electricity increases the risk of fire significantly. Furthermore, the facility will likely notice an increase in electricity usage over time, alerting them to your presence.
- Basic hygiene is lacking because storage units do not have running water. This means you won’t be able to use the toilet or wash your hands. This can lead to health problems as a result of poor personal hygiene.
- Being trapped inside a unit – The majority of storage units have garage-style doors that lock from the outside. Staff at storage facilities conduct routine walkthroughs to ensure that all units are locked to prevent theft. You may become trapped if you are inside a unit and it is locked from the outside. This could be extremely dangerous, particularly if a fire breaks out.
- Poor ventilation – Storage areas lack proper ventilation, making them stuffy and uncomfortable to spend extended periods in. This could easily lead to a fatal accident if you’re using a gas-powered heater or appliance.
How to get away with living in a storage unit
Leasing a home can make financial sense no matter where you live. Nonetheless, one of the major disadvantages that many people eventually encounter during their renting journey is space constraints. This is where storage units come in. You can also compare weighted vs unweighted.
If you decide to rent an extra storage unit, either directly from your apartment building or through a self-storage company, you may be wondering if your tenant’s insurance coverage covers storage units or if you need extra storage unit insurance to ensure your valuables are secure- even if they aren’t under your roof.
Before taking such a decision on whether it is right or not to rent a storage unit, be sure to know if the place is secure like having security or being backed by any insurance policy in case of stolen property.
Be sure to know what the law of the country state concerning using a storage unit as a place to live or otherwise.
Signs that someone is living in a storage unit
With increasing housing costs and homelessness, some despairing people seek refuge in self-storage units.
Self-storage units, on the other hand, are not suitable for human habitation. The lack of necessities such as running water creates an unsanitary environment, and there is also the danger of becoming trapped inside.
People living on-site can also harm other tenants and deter prospective tenants from choosing your facility. Furthermore, the tenant — as well as your company — may face criminal charges, particularly if children are involved.
There are warning signs of someone living in one of your units.
- You notice the tenant frequently: If you notice the tenant more frequently, but they aren’t moving items in or out of their unit, this could be a sign that they’ve made the unit their home.
- You find more trash than usual: If you notice more food wrappers, beverage bottles, and other household trash in your bins and dumpsters, this could indicate that someone is living in their unit.
- Your utility bills have increased: If you have electrical outlets in your storage units, a tenant may be using them to power a heater, microwave, or other appliances in their unit.
- You’re running low on toiletries: If you notice that you’re using more toilet paper, soap, and paper towels than usual in an onsite restroom, it could indicate that someone is using your restroom to freshen up regularly and may be living in a unit.
How long can I stay in my storage unit?
You can typically rent a storage unit for as long as you want. Whether you need short-term or long-term storage, one of the many storage companies will have it. Some people even rent storage units on an indefinite basis to provide extra space for personal or professional items. Storage companies, on the other hand, will most likely have a minimum amount of time you can rent a unit. The majority offer monthly or weekly contracts. Some storage facilities may even require a three-month commitment.
Keep in mind that you must notify the company by a certain date if you wish to cancel your storage rental. Otherwise, you may end up paying for the next month whether or not you use the rental.
Homeless living in storage units
According to our most recent research, a much larger proportion of homeless people live in motels, with friends or family, in their cars, on the streets, and even in a storage unit. They are also less likely to suffer from addictions or mental health issues than many people believe. They are instead dealing with domestic abuse, layoffs, evictions, or foreclosures.
One of our respondents said homeless people are also less likely to be chronically unemployed than many people believe. Some people work full-time but are unable to earn enough money to meet their basic needs. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, at least half of all homeless people work.
Take note that many homeless shelters and other service organizations do not collect such information, so our findings are likely to underestimate the true number of people living in storage units. Because this behavior is illegal, most people who engage in it do so secretly.
You should keep this in mind whenever you consider renting and living in a storage unit, whether for a short time or for a long time. If you are discovered living in a storage unit, you will almost certainly be evicted right away. That means you and your belongings will be thrown out. You may also face criminal charges, especially if you have children, because storage units are not fit for human habitation.
Is it possible to sleep in a storage unit?
Yes, but sleeping in your self-storage unit is not safe.
They wouldn’t have to worry about anyone bothering or stealing their belongings either. However, if the unit door becomes stuck while you are inside, you are in grave danger. For instance, suppose there was a fire or another emergency.
Can you live in a storage unit UK?
No, this is not a simple answer. In the United Kingdom, living in a storage unit is strictly prohibited.
Can you live in a storage unit in Australia?
At least in Australia, the land is zoned according to its intended use. Storage units are typically constructed on land zoned light industrial. To live in your storage unit, the property must be rezoned to residential and meet all of the requirements for a dwelling, such as power, water, sewage, and so on.
Can you live in a storage unit in Canada?
It is illegal to live in any type of storage unit, and most companies take security precautions to prevent this from happening.
Can you use a storage unit as a man cave?
Yes, there are now man cave storage units. Self-storage units are being used by men all over the country to create a home away from home. And we can’t say we blame them. Man cave storage units can free up space in your home while also serving as a haven.
What should you not leave in a storage unit?
- Hazardous substances.
- Items that have been stolen or are illegal.
- Ammunition and weapons.
- Perishable items
- Items that are priceless and irreplaceable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to sleep in a storage unit?
It is not permitted for you to live in your storage unit. Oh, you may have seen a video or heard about someone doing that? Do not attempt it. It is generally illegal and certainly dangerous.
Can you use a storage unit as a man cave?
Man cave storage units are now a thing. Self-storage facilities are being used by men all over the country to create a home away from home. We can’t blame them. Man cave storage units can free up space in your home while also serving as an escape.
Do things get ruined in storage units?
The majority of the time, your belongings will be fine and there will be nothing to worry about, but there is always a risk – albeit a minor one – that items will be damaged or lost while in self storage.