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06/23/2024 12:29 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: July 25, 2023 02:41 PM
From: Representative Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz
To: All House members
Subject: Strengthening the Self-Service Storage Facility Act
Since 1982, when Pennsylvania established a Self-Service Storage Facility Act, the legislature has twice made changes to strengthen protections in the law for consumers and to work with the owners of these facilities.

Last session, changes were made to ensure that consumers are given more advanced notice of a storage unit being locked for non-payment, and to allow owners options of how to advertise the sale of the contents of a unit that remains in default or abandoned to include the internet, as well as in a local newspaper.
The sale of items in a unit is not permitted until at least 10 days after the appropriate advertisement or posting. If there is a mistake in the advertisement or the appropriate newspaper fails to print the advertisement in a timely fashion, the 10-day period begins again.

This has created problems for facility owners, many of whom are mom and pop businesses. These individuals have done their due diligence to reach out to unit owners, as well as working with owners to collect rental fees. The process to contact owners following non-payment takes more than 90 days after the renter defaults.  In some cases these units simply are abandoned.

This proposal does not weaken ANY consumer protections in the act but will help ensure that these businesses do not have to start or re-start the 10-day window prior to a sale. What this bill will do is to add an option for facility owners to publish a copy of the information that was in the newspaper advertisement on a publicly accessible Internet website at the same time. If the newspaper fails to publish or there are mistakes with the content of the advertisement, then this redundant advertisement will serve as proof of advertisement.
This redundant advertisement is not required but would be optional. The goal of the proposal is to help our business owners get these units emptied and to regain rental income from their property following delinquencies.

Please consider joining me in co-sponsoring this proposal.

Introduced as HB1818