By Julie Casella, Certified Self Storage Manager
You are packing your bags for your camping trip, and you realize that you will need your tent from your storage unit. That seems simple enough. You head to your unit, and when you pull your keys out, you realize that the key to your lock is nowhere to be found! You are in a hurry and need your stuff so you can leave on time. What do you do?
Losing your keys to a self storage unit holding your valuable items is stressful. But there are options. First, call the property manager. NEVER ATTEMPT TO CUT A LOCK YOURSELF. There are many reasons not to do this, which we will discuss. Your property manager can check to see if any lost keys were found around the property that may be yours. If finding your key is unsuccessful, he or she will give you options for having the lock removed.
The best option is to use a locksmith. The property manager will give you a few numbers for local locksmith companies. If you decide to use a locksmith, you will need to stop in the rental office and sign a waiver for the lock to be cut, and for the manager to hold a new lock and keys for you. You can then schedule a time for the locksmith to remove the lock and make a payment to them for their services. The locksmith will need to come into the office during regular business hours once they arrive. The property manager will escort them onto the property and to your storage unit. This is to ensure the correct lock will be cut, and that they do not cause any damage to personal property or the door hasp. It is always best for you, the tenant, to be present. If you are not able to be on site in person, that waiver you signed gives us permission to secure the unit with a new lock and hold the keys for you once the locksmith is finished.
As I mentioned earlier, it is never okay to attempt to cut or pick your lock yourself. A property manager must be present, and a professional locksmith needs to provide the service. The main reason for this is because damage can be caused to the door, the lock or the hasp. After damage is done, the door may not open properly or at all. If you cause this type of damage, you will be responsible for the cost to repair it. The second reason attempting to remove your lock alone is not okay is because it could look suspicious to other tenants. If you came to your storage unit later in the evening and saw a person trying to use bolt cutters to gain access to a storage unit, you may think that someone is committing a crime and call the police. The third reason is safety. You may attempt to use tools that could cause harm if not handled properly. For the safety of you, your property, another tenant and their property, it is always best to let the property manager know you need help. You can check our Business Partners page for any locksmiths we have worked with in the past and ones we recommend.
If you have any questions about losing your keys, or you have discovered you have lost your keys, please contact your property manager for assistance. And, if you are ready to start using self storage, you can rent a storage unit online 24/7.