Many of our self storage competitors in the United Kingdom require security deposits in order to rent a storage room. We think that’s rubbish.
When we acquired the Big Box Storage Centres chain of 15 facilities in October 2016, we not only instituted a no-deposit policy for customers, but we returned all of the deposits collected by the previous owner by crediting the customers’ accounts.
"By not charging deposits, we are freeing up hundreds of thousands of pounds of our customers’ money that they can put to use elsewhere,” said Cris Burnam, president of StorageMart.
At least one of our competitors does not allow its storage customers to do that.
Every customer of that competitor must pay a refundable deposit before even one box can be stored. The amount of the deposit — which depends on the size of the storage room — normally equals one week’s worth of storage fees, including VAT, for renters of traditional storage rooms and 28 days’ worth of fees for renters of flexible-office and vehicle spaces. Only after you have vacated your room can you get back the deposit, as long as there is no damage to the space.
Burnam said he has learned during his more than 35 years in the self storage industry that when StorageMart provides great customer service — such as our no-deposit policy for UK customers — 99 percent of the customers “treat us very well in return."
"Since the vast majority of customers are basically honest, hard-working people, we just do not feel that collecting extra money is necessary,” Burnam said. “This, in turn, allows us to offer a very low-cost alternative to most self storage companies in the UK."
By not requiring refundable deposits, StorageMart is simplifying the process of renting a storage room at all 15 of our locations in the UK, Burnam said.
"We remove the deposit hassle at a time of stress, as our customers are usually in the middle of some sort of transition in their lives such as relocating a home, starting a family or pursuing a new career,” he said.
Another way that StorageMart helps UK customers is by billing them just once a month. In the UK, the standard self storage payment is made every four weeks, which means that customers sometimes must pay rent twice in one month.
"We do not think that is fair, since the salary of a UK household generally is paid once a month,” Burnam said. “StorageMart’s once-a-month payments make it easier for families to budget household expenses."
For more information about StorageMart’s storage locations in the UK, visit www.storage-mart.com/en-gb/uk-map.