How to Use a Lease to Limit Your Liability in a Portable Storage Business

A man gets ready to sign a rental agreement lease with a portable storage companyA portable storage business, a self-storage business, and a moving and storage business have a lot of similarities when it comes to legal challenges. In fact, some have said that portable storage is a cross between self-storage and moving and storage. When it comes to leases or rental agreements, portable storage is much more similar to a moving and storage business than a self-storage business. For a portable storage owner, probably the two most important factors to consider are having a good rental agreement and insurance to cover the services your company provides.
The trend for portable storage owners is to move more toward a leasing agreement and away from warehouse type leases. The leasing agreement should address issues such as rental rates, additional fees, limitations of use, operator lien rights and limited warranties. Most importantly, a portable storage lease should address limiting the value of stored goods in a container. Value limitations work the same in a portable storage business as they do in a moving and storage business. When renting a storage container, the customer must agree to a per-item value limit or a total value limit for the whole container. With those limits, the customer can opt for increasing the value limitation in exchange for paying a higher rental rate.

A Solid Liability Limit Lease Could be the Best Investment for Your Portable Storage Business

This isn’t insurance for the goods in the container, but a limit set on the portable storage operators potential liability in case he is found responsible for loss or damage. If the portable storage owner was potentially liable for the value of every container with no limitations at all, it would not be worth the risk financially of moving and storing those containers.
A solid liability lease could:

  1. Lower Prices on the Portable Storage Service: By creating a liability limit, the portable storage owner can afford to offer portable storage services to its customers at a reasonable rate. The portable storage owner then requires the customer to have the appropriate insurance coverage for the value of the goods stored in the storage container in case there is loss or damage to the property.
  2. Reduce Liability of Property Damage: Waiving liability to the mobile storage owner for where he places the storage container is another important issue. In the leasing agreement, the mobile storage company should have language stating the company should not be held liable if the container damages the driveway or lawn where the customer has requested the container be placed.
  3. Reduce Liability When the Container is Repossessed: Another important issue unique to a portable storage business is having the ability to repossess the storage container if the customer does not pay the rent. A portable storage owner wants to avoid the risk of liability if he has to return to the customer’s property to recover the storage container.
  4. Cover Additional Fees: A strong portable storage lease should also address costs associated with multiple pickups and deliveries and the distances they are willing to go for these excess services. If there are added costs for these services they should be included in the lease agreement so they can be passed on to the customer.

Consider a Liability Limit Lease

The portable storage industry has grown tremendously in the last several years and it is expected to continue that growth for a while. Portable storage has forever changed the way customers look at moving and storage. A strong leasing agreement can help the portable storage owner avoid many of the liabilities they may face.

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