Missouri Abandoned Property – Self Storage Law


Abandoned Property – Abandoned Property Self Storage – Missouri

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.

Missouri Revised Statutes
Title XXVI – TRADE AND COMMERCE (Chapters 400-421)
Chapter 415 – Warehouse and Self-Service Storage Facilities

Public warehouses, what constitutes–facilities not included as.
All warehouses or storehouses situated in cities or towns now having or which shall hereafter have over twenty-five thousand inhabitants, and wherein other property than grain is stored for a compensation or consideration, are declared to be public warehouses. For the purposes of sections 415.010 to 415.050, the term “public warehouse” shall not include self-service storage facilities governed by sections 415.400 to 415.430.
Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.010.

License for public warehouse.
The proprietor, lessee or manager of any public warehouse provided for by sections 415.010 to 415.050 shall be required, before transacting any business in such warehouse, to procure from the circuit court of the county in which such warehouse is situated (or if to procure license for a public warehouse in the city of St. Louis, application shall be made to the circuit court of said city) a license permitting such proprietor, lessee or manager to transact business as a public warehouseman under the laws of this state, which license shall expire on* December thirty-first next following issuance thereof, and which shall be otherwise renewed annually as provided under the laws of this state. Such license shall be issued by the clerk of the circuit court upon written application and shall set forth the location and the name of such warehouse, and the individual name of each person interested as owner or principal in the management of same, or if the warehouse be owned or managed by a corporation, the names of the president, secretary and treasurer of such corporation shall be stated; such license shall give authority to carry on and conduct the business of a public warehouse, other than a warehouse for the storage of grain, for any calendar year or portion thereof, shall be renewed annually thereafter in accordance with the laws of this state, and shall be revocable by the circuit court upon a summary proceeding before the court, upon the complaint of any person, in writing, setting forth the particular violation of the law, to be sustained by the satisfactory proof and to be taken in such manner as may be directed by the court.
Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.020.

Public warehousemen to give bond.
The person or persons receiving a license under the provisions of sections 415.010 to 415.050 shall annually file with the clerk of the court granting the same, a surety bond executed by a surety corporation authorized to do business in this state, or a bond with good and sufficient security running to the people of the state of Missouri, to be approved by the court, in the penal sum of twenty-five thousand dollars, or a legal liability insurance policy in the penal sum of twenty-five thousand dollars conditioned for the faithful performance of his or their duties as a public warehouseman or warehousemen, and as security for the payment of all penalties and damages found and adjudged against such warehouseman or warehousemen by due course of law, for the violation of any clause of sections 415.010 to 415.050, and his or their full and unreserved compliance with the laws of this state in relation thereto.
Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.030.

Transacting business without license–bond–penalty.
Any person or persons who shall transact within a city now having or which shall hereafter have a population of twenty-five thousand inhabitants or more, the business of storing for compensation or consideration other property than grain, without first procuring a license and giving a bond or legal liability insurance policy as provided in sections 415.010 to 415.050, who shall continue to transact such business after such license has been revoked, or such bond may have become void or found insufficient security for the penal sum in which it is executed by the court approving the same (save only that he may be permitted to deliver property previously stored in such warehouse), shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, be fined in a sum not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each and every day such business is carried on; and the court that issued may refuse to renew any license, or grant a new one, to any person whose license has been revoked, within one year from the time same was revoked.
Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.040.

Compliance with sections 415.010 to 415.050 mandatory, when.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation required by sections 415.010 to 415.050 to be licensed to hold himself, themselves, or itself out as a public warehouseman or warehousemen, or advertise for, or solicit business as a warehouseman without first complying with the provisions of sections 415.010 to 415.050; or to use the word “storage” in any way in connection with the business unless engaged in the storage business and licensed as a warehouse as provided by sections 415.010 to 415.050.

2. The provisions of sections 415.010 to 415.050 shall not apply to self-service storage facilities governed by sections 415.400 to 415.430.
Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.050. 1.

Sections 415.400 to 415.430 shall be known and may be cited as the “Self-Service Storage Facilities Act”.
Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.400.

Definitions.
As used in sections 415.400* to 415.430, the following terms shall mean:

(1) “Default”, the failure to perform on time any obligation or duty set forth in a rental agreement;

(2) “Last known address”, that address provided by the occupant in the rental agreement or the address provided by the occupant in a subsequent written notice of a change of address;

(3) “Leased space”, the individual storage space at the self-service facility which is rented to an occupant pursuant to a rental agreement;

(4) “Occupant”, a person, lessee, sublessee, successor or assignee entitled to the use of a leased space at a self-service storage facility under a rental agreement;

(5) “Operator”, the owner, operator, lessor or sublessor of a self-service storage facility, or an agent or any other person authorized to manage the facility; except that, the term “operator” does not include a warehouseman, unless the operator issues a warehouse receipt, bill of lading, or other document of title for the personal property stored;

(6) “Personal property”, movable property which is not affixed to land, including, but not limited to, goods, wares, merchandise, motor vehicles, watercraft, household items, and furnishings;

(7) “Rental agreement”, any written contract or agreement that establishes or modifies the terms, conditions or rules concerning the use and occupancy of a self-service storage facility, which is signed by the occupant and the operator;

(8) “Self-service storage facility”, any real property used for renting or leasing individual storage spaces in which the occupants themselves customarily store and remove their own personal property on a self-service basis.

Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.405.

Leased space not to be used as residence–operator may enter space, when–occupant to furnish operator certain information.

1. An operator may not knowingly permit a leased space at a self-service storage facility to be used for residential purposes. An occupant may not use a leased space for residential purposes.

2. An operator may enter leased space at all times which are reasonably necessary to insure the protection and preservation of the self-service storage facility or any personal property stored therein.

3. Prior to placing any personal property into his leased space, each occupant shall deliver a written statement to the operator of such leased space containing the name and address of each person having a valid lien against such personal property.

4. The lessee shall be informed in writing that the lessor either does or does not have liability insurance.

Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.410.

Lien on stored property, when, notice regarding, priority of, how enforced and satisfied–sale of property, procedure, duties of operator, distribution of proceeds–redemption by occupant, when.

1. The operator of a self-service storage facility has a lien on all personal property stored within each leased space for rent, labor, or other charges, and for expenses reasonably incurred in sale of such personal property, as provided in sections 415.400* to 415.430. The lien established by this subsection shall have priority over all other liens except those liens that have been perfected and recorded, on personal property. The rental agreement shall contain a statement, in bold type, advising the occupant of the existence of such lien and that property stored in the leased space may be sold to satisfy such lien if the occupant is in default, and that any proceeds from the sale of the property which remain after satisfaction of the lien will be paid to the state treasurer if unclaimed by the occupant within one year after the sale of the property.

2. If the occupant is in default for a period of more than thirty days, the operator may enforce the lien granted in subsection 1 of this section and sell the property stored in the leased space for cash. Sale of the property stored on the premises may be done at a public or private sale, may be done as a unit or in parcels, or may be by way of one or more contracts, and may be at any time or place and on any terms as long as the sale is done in a commercially reasonable manner in accordance with the provisions of section 400.9-507, RSMo. The operator may otherwise dispose of any property which has no commercial value.

3. The proceeds of any sale made under this subsection shall be applied to satisfy the lien, with any surplus being held for delivery on demand to the occupant or any other lienholders which the operator knows of or which are contained in the statement filed by the occupant pursuant to subsection 3 of section 415.410 for a period of one year after receipt of proceeds of the sale and satisfaction of the lien. No proceeds shall be paid to an occupant until such occupant files a sworn affidavit with the operator stating that there are no other valid liens outstanding against the property sold and that he, the occupant, shall indemnify the operator for any damages incurred or moneys paid by the operator due to claims arising from other lienholders of the property sold. After the one-year period set in this subsection, any proceeds remaining after satisfaction of the lien shall be considered abandoned property to be reported and paid to the state treasurer in accordance with laws pertaining to the disposition of unclaimed property.

4. Before conducting a sale under subsection 2 of this section, the operator shall:

(1) At least forty-five days before any disposition of property under this section, notify the occupant and each lienholder which the operator knows of or which is contained in any statement filed by the occupant pursuant to subsection 3 of section 415.410 of the default by first-class mail at the occupant’s or lienholder’s last known address;

(2) No later than ten days after mailing the notice required in subdivision (1) of this subsection, mail a second notice of default, by registered or certified mail, to the occupant at the occupant’s or lienholder’s last known address, which notice shall include:

(a) A statement that the contents of the occupant’s leased space are subject to the operator’s lien;

(b) A statement of the operator’s claim, indicating the charges due on the date of the notice, the amount of any additional charges which shall become due before the date of release for sale and the date those additional charges shall become due;

(c) A demand for payment of the charges due within a specified time, not less than ten days after the date on which the second notice was mailed;

(d) A statement that unless the claim is paid within the time stated, the contents of the occupant’s space will be sold after a specified time; and

(e) The name, street address and telephone number of the operator, or a designated agent whom the occupant may contact, to respond to the notice;

(3) At least seven days before the sale, advertise the time, place and terms of the sale in a newspaper of general circulation in the jurisdiction where the sale is to be held. Such advertisement shall be in the classified section of the newspaper and shall state that the items will be released for sale.

5. At any time before a sale under this section, the occupant may pay the amount necessary to satisfy the lien and redeem the occupant’s personal property.

Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.415.

Purchaser in good faith, not subject to certain liens–operator, limited liability, right to deny occupant access, when–notices, how and where sent.

1. A purchaser in good faith of any personal property sold under sections 415.400 to 415.430 takes the property free and clear of any rights of any persons against whom the lien was valid and other lienholders.

2. If the operator complies with the provisions of sections 415.400 to 415.430, the operator’s liability to the occupant shall be limited to the net proceeds received from the sale of the personal property, and to other lienholders shall be limited to the net proceeds received from the sale of any personal property covered by the other lien.

3. If an occupant is in default, once the operator has given the occupant notice under subdivision (1) of subsection 4 of section 415.415, the operator may deny the occupant access to the leased space.

4. Unless otherwise specifically provided in sections 415.400 to 415.430, all notices required by sections 415.400 to 415.430 shall be sent by registered or certified mail. Notices sent to the operator shall be sent to the self-service storage facility where the occupant’s property is stored. Notices to the occupant shall be sent to the occupant at the occupant’s last known address. Notices shall be deemed delivered when deposited with the United States postal service, properly addressed as provided in subsection 4 of section 415.415, with postage prepaid.

Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.420.

Care and control of stored property vested in occupant, exception.
Except as provided in subsection 3 of section 415.420, unless the rental agreement specifically provides otherwise and until a lien sale under sections 415.400 to 415.430, the exclusive care, custody and control of all personal property stored in the leased self-service storage space remains vested in the occupant.
Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.425.

Rental agreements entered into prior to September 28, 1985, provisions governing.
All rental agreements, entered into before September 28, 1985, which have not been extended or renewed after that date, shall remain valid and may be enforced or terminated in accordance with their terms or as permitted by any other statute or law of this state.
Title XXVI, Chap. 415, §415.430.