Florida Abandoned Property – Self Storage Law


Abandoned Property – Abandoned Property Self Storage – Florida

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of abandoned property law, but does include basic provisions.  You should check the State Laws for updates.

Florida Statutes
Chapter 83 Landlord and Tenant
PART III – SELF-SERVICE STORAGE SPACE

Definitions.–As used in ss. 83.801-83.809:

(1)  “Self-service storage facility” means any real property designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage space to tenants who are to have access to such space for the purpose of storing and removing personal property. No individual storage space may be used for residential purposes. A self-service storage facility is not a “warehouse” as that term is used in chapter 677. If an owner issues any warehouse receipt, bill of lading, or other document of title for the personal property stored, the owner and the tenant shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 677, and the provisions of this act shall not apply.

(2)  “Self-contained storage unit” means any unit not less than 600 cubic feet in size, including, but not limited to, a trailer, box, or other shipping container, which is leased by a tenant primarily for use as storage space whether the unit is located at a facility owned or operated by the owner or at another location designated by the tenant.

(3)  “Owner” means the owner, operator, lessor, or sublessor of a self-service storage facility or self-contained storage unit or his or her agent or any other person authorized by him or her to manage the facility or to receive rent from a tenant under a rental agreement.

(4)  “Tenant” means a person or the person’s sublessee, successor, or  assign entitled to the use of storage space at a self-service storage facility or in a self-contained unit, under a rental agreement, to the exclusion of others.

(5)  “Rental agreement” means any agreement or lease which establishes or modifies terms, conditions, rules, or any other provisions concerning the use and occupancy of a self-service storage facility or use of a self-contained storage unit.

(6)  “Last known address” means that address provided by the tenant in the latest rental agreement or the address provided by the tenant by hand delivery or certified mail in a subsequent written notice of a change of address.
Chap. 83, Part III, §83.803

Lien.
The owner of a self-service storage facility or self-contained storage unit and the owner’s heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and assigns have a lien upon all personal property, whether or not owned by the tenant, located at a self-service storage facility or in a self-contained storage unit for rent, labor charges, or other charges, present or future, in relation to the personal property and for expenses necessary for its preservation or expenses reasonably incurred in its sale or other disposition pursuant to ss. 83.801-83.809. The lien provided for in this section attaches as of the date that the personal property is brought to the self-service storage facility or as of the date the tenant takes possession of the self-contained storage unit, and the priority of this lien shall be the same as provided in s. 83.08; however, in the event of default, the owner must give notice to persons who hold perfected security interests under the Uniform Commercial Code in which the tenant is named as the debtor.
Chap. 83, Part III, §83.805

Withholding access to personal property upon nonpayment of rent.
Upon the failure of a tenant to pay the rent when it becomes due, the owner may, without notice, after 5 days from the date the rent is due, deny the tenant access to the personal property located in the self-service storage facility or self-contained storage unit. In denying the tenant access to personal property contained in the self-contained storage unit, the owner may proceed without judicial process, if this can be done without breach of the peace, or may proceed by action.
Chap. 83, Part III, §83.8055

Enforcement of lien.
An owner’s lien as provided in s. 83.805 may be satisfied as follows: ,p>(1) The tenant shall be notified by written notice delivered in person or by certified mail to the tenant’s last known address and conspicuously posted at the self-service storage facility or on the self-contained storage unit.

(2) The notice shall include:

(a)  An itemized statement of the owner’s claim, showing the sum due at the time of the notice and the date when the sum became due.

(b)  The same description, or a reasonably similar description, of the personal property as provided in the rental agreement.

(c)  A demand for payment within a specified time not less than 14 days after delivery of the notice.

(d)  A conspicuous statement that, unless the claim is paid within the time stated in the notice, the personal property will be advertised for sale or other disposition and will be sold or otherwise disposed of at a specified time and place.

(e)  The name, street address, and telephone number of the owner whom the tenant may contact to respond to the notice.

(3) Any notice given pursuant to this section shall be presumed delivered when it is deposited with the United States Postal Service, registered, and properly addressed with postage prepaid.

(4) After the expiration of the time given in the notice, an advertisement of the sale or other disposition shall be published once a week for 2 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the self-service storage facility or self-contained storage unit is  located. Inasmuch as any sale may involve property of more than one tenant, a single advertisement may be used to dispose of property at any one sale.

(a)  The advertisement shall include:

1. A brief and general description of what is believed  to constitute the personal property contained in the storage unit, as provided in paragraph (2)(b).

2. The address of the self-service storage facility or  the address where the self-contained storage unit is located and the name of the tenant.

3. The time, place, and manner of the sale or other disposition. The sale or other disposition shall take place not sooner than 15 days after the first  publication.

(b) If there is no newspaper of general circulation in the area where the self-service storage facility or self-contained storage unit is located, the advertisement shall be posted at least 10 days before the date of the sale or other disposition in not fewer than three conspicuous places in the neighborhood where the self-service storage facility or self-contained storage unit is located.

(5) Any sale or other disposition of the personal property shall conform to the terms of the notification as provided for in this section and shall be conducted in a commercially reasonable manner, as that term is used in s. 679.504(3).

(6) Before any sale or other disposition of personal property pursuant to this section, the tenant may pay the amount necessary to satisfy the lien and the reasonable expenses incurred under this section and thereby redeem the personal property. Upon receipt of such payment, the owner shall return the property to the tenant and thereafter shall have no liability to any person with respect to such personal property. If the tenant fails to redeem the personal property or satisfy the lien, including reasonable expenses, he or she will be deemed to have unjustifiably abandoned the self-service storage facility or self-contained storage unit, and the owner may resume possession of the premises for himself or herself.

(7) A purchaser in good faith of the personal property sold to satisfy a lien provided for in s. 83.805 takes the property free of any claims, except those interests provided for in s. 83.808, despite noncompliance by the owner with the requirements of this section.

(8) In the event of a sale under this section, the owner may satisfy his or her lien from the proceeds of the sale, provided the owner’s lien has priority over all other liens in the personal property. The lien rights of secured lienholders are automatically transferred to the remaining proceeds of the sale. The balance, if any, shall be held by the owner for delivery on demand to the tenant. A notice of any balance shall be delivered by the owner to the tenant in person or by certified mail to the last known address of the tenant. If the tenant does not claim the balance of the proceeds within 2 years of the date of sale, the proceeds shall be deemed abandoned, and the owner shall have no further obligation with regard to the payment of the balance. In the event that the owner’s lien does not have priority over all other liens, the sale proceeds shall be held for the benefit of the holders of those liens having priority. A notice of the amount of the sale proceeds shall be delivered by the owner to the tenant or secured lienholders in person or by certified mail to their last known addresses. If the tenant or the secured lienholders do not claim the sale proceeds within 2 years of the date of sale, the proceeds shall be deemed abandoned, and the owner shall have no further obligation with regard to the payment of the proceeds.
Chap. 83, Part III, §83.806

Contractual liens.
Nothing in ss. 83.801-83.809 shall be construed as in any manner impairing or affecting the right of parties to create liens by special contract or agreement nor shall it in any manner impair or affect any other lien arising at common law, in equity, or by any statute of this state or any other lien not provided for in s. 83.805.
Chap. 83, Part III, §83.808

Application of act.

(1)  Nothing in this act shall be construed as in any manner impairing or affecting the right of parties to create additional rights, duties, and obligations in and by virtue of a rental agreement. The provisions of ss. 83.801-83.809 shall be in addition to all other rights allowed by law in a creditor-debtor or landlord-tenant relationship.

(2) Chapter 82-151, Laws of Florida, shall apply to all rental agreements entered into, extended, or renewed after July 1, 1982.
Chap. 83, Part III, §83.809