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What should I do if I can’t pay my storage bill?

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Operations - Store and Insure

When storage bills start to pile up, it’s time to talk

A lot of us have seen our bills increase month by month this year, and many people are starting to cut back on luxuries. But if accident, illness or redundancy strikes, and it becomes even more difficult to make ends meet and pay all your bills, storage costs may end up at the bottom of the list.

Storage companies generally don’t check your credit when you sign up, but some of them might ask a few questions to make sure you can afford your monthly storage bills.

What will happen to your stored goods if you can’t pay your storage bill?

Storage companies understand that they are not a priority bill for a struggling household. But they are a business, so they need to protect their own interests.

While your goods are taking up a unit, the company can’t let that unit to a paying customer. A storage organisation has what is known as right of lien over the contents of your storage unit – that is, they can keep it until the debt is paid, and, eventually, after lots of due process, sell the goods to recover the debt.

But before that point, your storage company will contact you with notices to let you know that you have fallen into arrears.

Can you move your goods out of storage?

The simplest way to rapidly reduce your storage bill is to move your goods out of storage! Of course this may not be the answer for everyone: if you are vulnerably housed, or in a care home, for example. And it’s important to do this as soon as you realise the monthly storage bill is going to be a problem. If you leave it too long and get into arrears with your storage bills, the company may exercise its right of lien.

Talk to your storage company if your bills are too high

In the short term, it’s important to talk with the manager at your storage centre. No storage company wants to get into a dispute with a client about bills. So as soon as you know you’re not going to be able to pay, ask for help. They may be able to help you cut your storage costs through decluttering and efficient packing so you can rent a smaller unit. And we’ve got some hints that might help reduce your storage bill, too – including checking that you are not overpaying for self-storage insurance.

Can a storage company auction the goods in my unit?

Some storage companies do hold auctions for the contents of abandoned or delinquent storage units. But most companies would much prefer that you pay your storage bills. If your stored goods do get sold, the storage company will do its best to return to you any personal or sentimental items like photos, diaries and tax records.

Where can I get help if I can’t pay my storage bill

Anyone who is suffering from financial hardship should talk with Citizens Advice. This organisation can help you access benefits and services that will stop you from spiralling into debt.

Ask for help sooner rather than later

With the cost of living rising we expect to see more people struggling with their storage bills. Ask for help promptly to avoid your debt spiralling out of control.


Question and Answer


My Policy is due to expire in a week/month’s time but I have already taken my goods out of store. Do I get a rebate?

Our charges are on a daily basis so any for any unused insurance period you will be entitled to a rebate.