Storage Unit Eviction Process Explained: Key Legal Guidelines

Did you know that self-storage operators are just like landlords? This applies to tenants who don’t adhere to the rental agreement. Because they’re in charge of maintaining self-storage units, they might be tasked with the self-storage eviction process for people who don’t fulfill their duties.

A self-storage unit is fundamentally like any other property. If a tenant violates the rental agreement, they can be evicted from that storage facility. However, a lease termination should be sent via certified mail and email. This document must cite the termination provision in the lease agreement and indicate the deadline for when the tenant must vacate the self-storage facility.

But what if the tenant turns out to be an active duty service member? The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) bans a self-storage facility owner from enforcing a lien if the paying tenant is in the military or has been in the military the previous year. This provision makes it difficult for the owner or manager to sever the storage rental agreement because the law bans them from doing so.

On the other hand, self-storage facility owners may still take action against self-storage tenants even if the person is a service member. They just need a court order highlighting how the tenant wasn’t able to pay rent. In this article, we’ll further discuss evicting a service member from a storage unit.

SCRA Protections in a Nutshell

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA, is a federal law designed to protect the rights of active-duty service members. In many cases, service members can’t meet certain legal and financial obligations because of their focus on work, and a self-storage unit falls under personal property in the SCRA.

Many military members store their belongings in self-storage units, especially when deployed overseas. Unfortunately, there may be instances wherein they cannot pay rent for self-storage facilities for various reasons.

The consequences of handing out an eviction notice to an active duty service member can be severe. If you’re renting out a self-storage space to a service member, you should understand the implications of the law before issuing your military tenants an eviction notice.

Explaining Self-Storage Eviction

Self-storage eviction refers to the rights of the storage operator to evict non-paying tenants of their self storage facilities. Those who can’t pay the rent of their self-storage unit must vacate that unit so the operator can find another tenant who can pay the storage unit rent on time.

Self-Storage Unit Eviction Process

The storage facility owner or manager has the right to evict clients for various reasons. Each state has its rules to safeguard storage units. If the client doesn’t vacate the storage unit on time, the storage operator may obtain the right to sell the contents of the unit to make up for their financial losses.

However, this process becomes complicated when active duty service members are involved. The SCRA protects active duty service members from eviction notices, including that from a storage facility.

Timing is vital in the storage unit eviction process involving military personnel. The SCRA stipulates that storage operators cannot act while the servicemember is on Active Duty and for 90 days after their term ends. With that said, the owner of a storage facility should take this into consideration during the eviction process.

If the operator is determined to make the service member and their dependents leave the facility, they must follow proper protocol. To handle the eviction correctly, first, the operator must confirm that the paying tenant is indeed an active duty service member. While they can request deployment orders from that person, anyone can confirm a person’s active duty status through the SCRA Centralized Verification Service.

The next step is to obtain a court order that legalizes their course of action, which is to evict the service member from a particular storage unit. The tenant should be given proper notice that the eviction will take place and that the operator followed the law during the entire process.

SCRA Protections for Self-Storage Units

As mentioned, every state has its rules. Generally speaking, entities that violate the SCRA may stand to face significant penalties. Even a single violation may cause tremendous damage to the facility’s cash flow. Why do service members have a different eviction process compared to other tenants? This is so they can focus on their jobs.

With that said, as long as a service member is on active duty, they can’t be served with eviction notices. This protection extends to the military personnel’s dependents, which may include their spouse, children, step-children and the like. Even if the service member’s family has access to the storage unit, that law stipulates that they’re not allowed to be evicted from that unit.

Consequences of SCRA Violations

Violating the SCRA can have severe consequences that can affect the storage unit facility’s overall operations. If that facility violates the law, they might have to pay hundreds of thousands in fines. While the owner or manager may not be required to complete jail time, the financial burden can affect them tremendously.

The only way for the owner or manager to push through with the eviction process without violating the SCRA is by obtaining a court order and proof that they’re not violating any stipulations of the SCRA.

If that owner or manager does violate the SCRA, the paying tenant is allowed to file a complaint and go to court.


Operators should familiarize themselves with the proper storage unit eviction process, especially when active duty members are involved. Verifying a service member’s active duty status is key. You can do so easily with the assistance of SCRACVS.


How do I evict someone from a storage unit in California?

You must determine the lease violation and send a lease termination notice before you can evict a tenant. The tenant should be ‘at fault’ for the process to proceed. At least 14 days after the termination notice is sent, the operator can deny a renter access, enter the unit, and remove items if the rent is not paid within a specific timeframe.

How do I evict someone from a storage unit in Texas?

The easiest way to terminate the tenant’s contract in Texas is to send TSSA Form E-1, “15-Day Notice of Termination of Storage Space Rental Agreement.”

When can a storage unit be auctioned off in NY State?

Storage facilities in New York are granted a lien on the belongings within them – allowing them to lock the units and auction off their content instead of ceasing services to customers who are no longer able to pay.

How long does it take to evict a tenant in the USA? 

Evicting a tenant depends on the state’s laws. This can vary from a few weeks to a few months.

How many days does SCRA protect from eviction?

SCRA protection can last up to 3 months after the service member’s active duty military service period is over.

Why does public storage ask for military status?

This is because storage unit operators aren’t allowed to evict military tenants who are on active duty.

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