Looking to get in on the Storage Wars action inspired by the hit A&E television show? Miami self-storage companies routinely auction off the contents of abandoned units, and there are bidders lined up to get a chance to hit it big by finding a priceless antique or other valuable objects inside a storage locker.
Self-Storage in Miami
The self-storage industry is huge. Fueled by incredible demand for more space to store the toys, treasures, household items and plain old junk of countless individuals, these non-descript, low-rise, low-cost buildings are popping up all over the Miami area.
Some of the major players in this industry include:
If you're looking for a storage unit for your own valuables, chances are that there are several within a couple of miles of your residence, wherever you happen to be located in the Miami area.
Finding Storage Auctions
Florida law provides that the owners of self-storage units have a lien right to all of the contents stored within a unit. If the individual renting a storage unit fails to pay rent for an extended period of time, the unit owner has the right to auction off the contents of the unit to satisfy the past due rent amounts. Any money obtained from the auction that exceeds the amount owed belongs to the individual who rented the unit.
Practically speaking, unit owners normally do not want to conduct auctions themselves. Instead, they hire professional auctioneers who know the rules of the lien law and the auction process inside-out.
These professional auctioneers travel the state, and sometimes the country, conducting auctions for different self-storage unit owners.
Following these professional auctioneers is the easiest way to track down storage auctions taking place in the Miami area. Typically, an auctioneer will come into town to auction at least three units at a particular facility.
In many cases, they will conduct auctions at multiple facilities owned by the same chain during a single trip. Some of the auctioneers and auction listing sitesyou might wish to keep an eye on are:
- Hammer Down Auctions
- CubeSmart Auction Listings
- Storage Treasures Miami Listings
- Storage Protection Auction Services
What to Expect at a Storage Auction
When you arrive at a storage auction, you will be asked to register. Before the auction begins, the auctioneer will advise you of the rules, which typically include:
- Auctions are cash only and you are expected to pay immediately at the conclusion of the auction
- When the lock is cut on the unit, you may look inside, but you may not enter the unit or touch any of the contents
- You may be required to pay a small cleaning deposit to the unit owner
- You will have a short period of time to empty out the unit. If you do not do so, the contents will be thrown away and you will forfeit your deposit
Remember, storage auctions are not glamorous in real life and the treasures you see on reality television will probably not be in a unit that you buy. Caveat emptor!