Jun 112012

The Maine Self-Storage Association welcomes featured speaker, Jeffrey Greenberger, a Partner at Katz, Greenberger & Norton, LLP, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to their education conference and trade show June 14-15, 2012. Jeff’s topic for the show is liability avoidance and protection of your business. Specifically, Jeff will take guests through several important issues that arise almost daily in self-storage operations to make sure that self-storage owners are prepared to handle them before they find themselves in a dispute or litigation.

Jeff will specifically address the following issues:

1.         Granting access to the facility and unit for those other than your named occupant. Specifically, many questions come into Jeff’s office every day about how to handle life change issues such as death, divorce, or disappearance of an occupant. There is a right way and a wrong way to handle these issues; however, preparation in advance in both educating the occupant, having the right lease clauses, and having the right forms ready in your office will protect you from making a potentially large dollar mistake if you let the wrong person into the unit at the wrong time.

2.         Understanding your rights, responsibilities, and duties under the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act. The Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act speaks to the rental of real estate when affording service members specific additional rights and privileges. There are certain questions you must ask up front according to the law and, if you are aware that an occupant is in the service and they go into default or you wish to collect against them, there are certain additional protections you must afford the service member. If you do not know these, you are facing the risk of not only a lawsuit but criminal prosecution.

3.         The unwritten rules of rent payment. Many of you have clauses in your rental agreement that require that occupant pay you rent, but are you and the occupant really talking the same language? When operators talk about their actual rules that apply to rent payment, they differ greatly from what is stated or what is not stated in the rental agreement. Jeff will take a look at these various unwritten rules and discuss which and why these belong properly in your rental agreement to avoid liability for wrongful sale from the get-go.

4.         Understanding your rental agreement. Jeff has agreed to share with us his formula for analyzing existing rental agreements. He will go through with you his view of common clauses that are often mistakenly included, and clauses that not only must be included but in a modern day self-storage rental agreement should be included to protect you as much as possible from liability for normal day-to-day self-storage operations.

Anyone who has heard Jeff speak before knows that not only is he informative and very willing to share knowledge and examples, but also happens to be accidentally humorous, making the time with Jeff fly by. Members who have attended seminars conducted by Jeff before say they wished that they had hours more to pick his brain and learn more about best practices for operation of their self-storage facility.

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