Georgia State Lien Laws

Title 10 Commerce and Trade Chapter 4 Warehousemen Article 5 Self-Service Storage Facilities

10-4-210. Short title This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Georgia Self-service Storage Facility Act of 2013."

10-4-211. Definitions

For purposes of this article, the term:

(1) "E-mail" means an electronic message or an executable program or computer file that contains an image of a message that is transmitted between two or more computers or electronic terminals. The term includes electronic messages that are transmitted within or between computer networks.

(2) "Last known address" means that address, post office box address, or e-mail address provided by the occupant in the latest rental agreement or the address provided by the occupant in a subsequent written notice of a change of address by hand delivery, verified mail, or e-mail.

(3) "Occupant" means a person, his or her sublessee, successor, or assign entitled to the use of the storage space at a self-service storage facility under a rental agreement, to the exclusion of others.

(4) "Owner" means the owner, operator, lessor, or sublessor of a self-service storage facility, his or her agent, or any other person authorized to manage the facility or to receive rent from an occupant under a rental agreement.

(5) "Personal property" means movable property not affixed to land and includes, but is not limited to, goods, wares, merchandise, motor vehicles, trailers, watercraft, and household items and furnishings.

(6) "Rental agreement" means any agreement or lease, written or oral, that establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, rules, or any other provisions concerning the use and occupancy of a self-service storage facility.

(7) "Self-service storage facility" means any real property designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage space to occupants who are to have access to such for the purpose of storing and removing personal property. No occupant shall use a self-service storage facility for residential purposes. A self-service storage facility is not a warehouse within the meaning of Article 1 of this chapter known as the "Georgia State Warehouse Act," and the provisions of law relative to bonded public warehousemen shall not apply to the owner of a self-service storage facility. A self-service storage facility is not a safe-deposit box or vault maintained by banks, trust companies, or other financial entities.

(8) "Verified mail" means certified mail, registered mail, statutory overnight delivery, or other method of mailing or delivery in which the post office or delivery service furnishes proof that the parcel was sent.

10-4-212. Lien of owner of self-service storage facility upon property located at facility; priority; attachment

The owner of a self-service storage facility and his or her heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and assigns have a lien upon all personal property located at a self-service storage facility for rent, labor, or other charges, present or future, in relation to the personal property and for expenses necessary for its preservation or expenses reasonably incurred in its sale or other disposition pursuant to this article. The lien provided for in this Code section is superior to any other lien or security interest except those which are perfected and recorded prior to the date of the rental agreement in Georgia in the name of the occupant, either in the county of the occupant's last known address or in the county where the self-service storage facility is located, except any tax lien as otherwise provided by law and except any lienholder with an interest in the property of whom the owner has knowledge either through the disclosure provision of the rental agreement or through other written notice. The lien attaches as of the date the personal property is brought to the self-service storage facility.

10-4-213. Enforcement of lien without judicial intervention

Provided that it complies with the requirements of this Code section, an owner may enforce the lien without judicial intervention. Owner shall obtain from occupant a written rental agreement which includes the following language:

This agreement, made and entered into this _______ day of ______________, _____, by and between_______________, hereinafter called Owner, and __________________, hereinafter called Occupant, whose last known address is __________________________. For the consideration hereinafte stated, the Owner agrees to let the Occupant use and occupy a space in the self-service storage facility, known as ___________, situated in the City of _________________, County of __________________, State of Georgia, and more particularly described as follows: Building # ________, Space # _____________, Size _____. Said space is to be occupied and used for the purposes specified herein and subject to the conditions set forth for a period of ______________, beginning on the __________ day of _______, ____, and continuing month to month until terminated.

"Space," as used in this agreement, will be that part of the self-service storage facility as described above. The Occupant agrees to pay the Owner, as payment for the use of the space and improvements thereon, the monthly sum of $______________. Monthly installments are payable in advance on or before the first of each month, in the amount of $ ________, and a like amount for each month thereafter, until the termination of this agreement.

If any monthly installment is not paid by the seventh calendar day of the month due, or if any check given in payment is dishonored by the financial institution on which it is dran, Occupant shall be deemed to be in default.

Occupant further agrees to pay the sum of one month's fees, which shall be used as a clean-up and maintenance fund, and is to be used, if required, for the repair of any damage done to the space and to clean up the space at the termination of the agreement. In the event that the space is left in a good state of repair, and in a broom-swept condition, then this amount shall be refunded to the Occupant. However, it is agreed to between the parties that the Owner may set off any claims it may have against the Occupant from this fund.

The space named herein is to be used by the Occupant solely for the purpose of storing any personal property belonging to the Occupant. The Occupant agrees not to store any explosives or any highly inflammable goods or any other goods in the space which would cause danger to the space. The Occupant agrees that the property will not be used for any unlawful purposes and the Occupant agrees not to commit waste, nor alter, nor affix signs on the space, and to keep the space in good condition during the term of this agreement.

OWNER HAS A LIEN ON ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY STORED IN OCCUPANT'S SPACE FOR RENT, LABOR, OR OTHER CHARGES, PRESENT OR FUTURE, IN RELATION TO THE PERSONAL PROPERTY, AND FOR ITS PRESERVATION OR EXPENSES REASONABLY INCURRED IN ITS SALE OR OTHER DISPOSITION PURSUANT TO THIS AGREEMENT. PERSONAL PROPERTY STORED IN OCCUPANT'S SPACE WILL BE SOLD OR OTHERWISE DISPOSED OF IF NO PAYMENT HAS BEEN RECEIVED FOR A CONTINUOUS THIRTY-DAY PERIOD AFTER DEFAULT. IN ADDITION, UPON OCCUPANT'S DEFAULT, OWNER MAY WITHOUT NOTICE DENY OCCUPANT ACCESS TO THE PERSONAL PROPERTY STORED IN OCCUPANT'S SPACE UNTIL SUCH TIME AS PAYMENT IS RECEIVED. IF ANY MONTHLY INSTALLMENT IS NOT MADE BY THE SEVENTH OF THE MONTH DUE, OR IF ANY CHECK GIVEN IN PAYMENT IS DISHONORED BY THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTION ON WHICH IT IS DRAWN, OCCUPANT IS IN DEFAULT FROM DATE PAYMENT WAS DUE.

I herby agree that all notices other than bills and invoices shall be given by hand delivery, verified mail, or e-mail are the following addresses:

________________________________________________________________________________ (hand delivery)

________________________________________________________________________________ (verified mail)

________________________________________________________________________________ (e-mail).

and I further understand that I may designate to owner an agent to receive such notice by providing:

________________________________________________________________________________ (hand delivery)

________________________________________________________________________________ (verified mail)

________________________________________________________________________________ (e-mail).

For purposes of Owner's lien: "personal property" means movable property, not affixed to land, and includes, but is not limited to, goods, wares, merchandise, motor vehicles, trailers, watercraft, household items, and furnishings; "last known address" means the street address or post office box addresses provided by Occupant in the latest rental agreement or the address provided by the Occupant in a subsequent written notice of a change of address by hand delivery, verified mail, or e-mail.

Owner's lien is superior to any other lien or security interest, except those which are evidenced by a certificate of title or perfected and recorded prior to the date of this rental agreement in Georgia, in the name of the Occupant, either in the county of the Occupant's "last known address" or in the county where the self-service storage facility is located, except any tax lien as provided by law and except those liens or security interests of whom the Owner has knowledge through the Occupant's disclosure in this rental agreement or through other written notice. Occupant attests that the personal property in his space(s) is free and clear of all liens and secured interests except for _______________________________. Owner's lien attaches as of the date the personal property is brought to the self-service storage facility.

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this rental agreement, the exclusive care, custody, and control of any and all personal property stored in the leased space shall remain vested in the Occupant. Owner does not become a bailee of the Occupant's personal property by the enforcement of Owner's lien.

If Occupant has been in default continuously for thirty (30) days, Owner may enforce its lien, provided Owner shall comply with the following procedure:

Occupant shall be notified of Owner's intent to enforce Owner's lien by written notice delivered in person, by verified mail or by e-mail. Owner also shall notify other parties with superior liens or security interests as defined in this rental agreement. A notice given pursuant to this rental agreement shall be presumed sent when it is deposited with the United States Postal Service or the statutory overnight delivery service properly addressed with postage or delivery fees prepaid or sent by e-mail. If Owner sends notice of a pending sale of property to Occupant's last known e-mail address and does not receive a nonautomated response or a receipt of delivery to the email address, Owner shall send notice of the sale to Occupant by verified mail to Occupant's last known address or to the last known address of the designated agent of the Occupant before proceeding with the sale.

Owner's notice to Occupant shall include an itemized statement of the Owner's claim showing the sum due at the time of the notice and the date when the sum became due. Owner's notice shall notify Occupant of denial of access to the personal property and provide the name, street address, and telephone number of the Owner or its designated agent, whom Occupant may contact to respond to this notice. Owner's notice shall demand payment within a specified time, not less than fourteen (14) days after delivery of the notice. It shall state that, unless the claim is paid, within the time stated in the notice, the personal property will be advertised for public sale to the highest bidder, and will be sold at a public sale to the highest bidder, at a specified time and place.

After the expiration of the time given in Owner's notice, Owner shall publish an advertisement of the public sale to the highest bidder, once a week, for two consecutive weeks, in the legal organ for the county where the self-service storage facility is located. The sale shall be deemed commercially reasonable if at least three (3) independent bidders attend the sale at the time and place advertised. "Independent bidder" means a bidder who is not related to and who has no controlling interest in, or common pecuniary interest with, Owner or any other bidder. The advertisement shall include: a brief and general description of the personal property, reasonably adequate to permit its identification; the address of the self-service storage facility, and the number, if any, of the space where the personal property is located, and the name of the Occupant; and the time, place, and manner of the public sale. The public sale to the highest bidder shall take place not sooner than fifteen (15) days after the first publication. Regardless of whether a sale involves the property of more than one Occupant, a single advertisement may be used to advertise the disposal of property at the sale. A public sale includes offering the property on a publicly accessible website that regularly conducts online auctions of personal property. Such sale shall be considered incidental to the self-storage business and no license shall be required.

If no one purchases the property at the public sale and if Owner has complied with the foregoing procedures, Owner may otherwise dispose of the property and shall notify Occupant of the action taken. Any sale or disposition of the personal property shall be held at the self-service storage facility or at the nearest suitable place to where the personal property is held or stored.

Before any sale or other disposition of personal property pursuant to this agreement, Occupant may pay the amount necessary to satisfy the lien and the reasonable expenses incurred and thereby redeem the personal property and thereafter the Owner shall have no liability to any person with respect to such personal property.

A Purchaser in good faith of the personal property sold to satisfy Owner's lien takes the property free of any rights of persons against whom the lien was valid, despite noncompliance by the Owner with the requirements of this agreement.

In the event of a sale, the Owner may satisfy his or her lien from the proceeds of the sale. The Owner shall hold the balance of the proceeds, if any, for the Occupant or any notified secured interest holder. If not claimed within two years of the date of sale, the balance of the proceeds shall be disposed of in accordance with Article 5 of Chapter 12 of Title 44, the "Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act." In no event shall the Owner's liability exceed the proceeds of the sale.

If the rental agreement contains a limit on the value of the property stored in Occupant's storage space, the limit shall be deemed to be the maximum value of the property stored in that space.

If the property upon which the lien is claimed is a motor vehicle, trailer, or watercraft and rent and other charges related to the property remain unpaid or unsatisfied for 60 days following the maturity of the obligation to pay rent, Owner may have the property towed in lieu of foreclosing on the lien. If a motor vehicle, trailer, or watercraft or any damages to the motor vehicle, trailer, or watercraft once the tower takes possession of the property.

10-4-214. Compliance with Servicemembers Civil Relief Act; right of parties to create additional rights, duties, and obligations not impaired; rights under article additional

If the rental agreement is with a service member, the owner shall comply with all terms of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. 501 et seq. Nothing in this article shall be construed as in any manner impairing or affecting the right of the parties to create additional rights, duties, and obligations in and by virtue of the rental agreement. The rights provided by this article shall be in addition to all other rights allowed by law to a creditor against his debtor.

10-4-215. Rental agreements entered into before July 1, 1982, not affected All rental agreements entered into before July 1, 1982, and not extended or renewed after that date, and the rights and duties and interests flowing from them shall remain valid and may be enforced or terminated in accordance with their terms or as permitted by any other statute or law of this state.