Bill Details - SB192 (2019)

SB 192  - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2019 SESSION

19-0275

05/01

 

SENATE BILL 192

 

AN ACT relative to self-service storage facility liens.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Rep. Hunt, Ches. 11

 

COMMITTEE: Commerce

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill recodifies RSA 451-C, relative to self-service storage facility liens.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19-0275

05/01

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT relative to self-service storage facility liens.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Self-Service Storage Facility Liens.  RSA 451-C is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

CHAPTER 451-C

SELF-SERVICE STORAGE FACILITY LIENS

451-C:1  Definitions.  In this chapter:

I.  "Abandoned rented space" means any rented space for which the occupant is in default for at least 30 days and that the owner finds empty or the personal property within the rented space has a value of less than $500, or the occupant surrenders possession of the rented space and any personal property therein.

II.  "Default" means the violation or failure by the occupant to perform any obligation or duty set forth in this chapter or the rental agreement.

III.  "Electronic mail" means the transmission, by use of a computer or through other electronic means, of information or a communication that is sent to a person identified by a unique address.

IV.  "Emergency" means any occurrence or circumstance at or near a self-service storage facility that requires prompt action to avoid injury to persons or damage to property at or near the self-service storage facility.

V.  "Last known address" means that postal address or electronic mail address provided by the occupant in the rental agreement or the postal address or electronic mail address provided by the occupant in a subsequent written notice of a change of address.

VI.  "Late fee" means any fee or charge assessed for an occupant's failure to pay rent or other fees, charges, or costs when due.  "Late fee" does not include interest on a debt, reasonable expenses, fees, costs, or charges incurred in the collection of unpaid rent or expenses, costs, fees, or charges associated with the enforcement of any other remedy provided by law or the rental agreement.

VII.  "Lienholder" means a person entitled to enforce a lien or security interest legally acquired and properly recorded on a motor vehicle in accordance with RSA 382-A or RSA 261.

VIII.  "Motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle as defined in RSA 259:60, a motorcycle as defined in RSA 259:63, and any boat, watercraft, or motorized vehicle including any off highway recreational vehicle as defined in RSA 215-A:1, VI, or any snowmobile as defined in RSA 215-C:1.

IX.  "Occupant" means a person, or any agent or representative of the person, entitled to the use of rented space at a self-service storage facility under a rental agreement, to the exclusion of others.

X.  "Owner" means the owner, operator, lessor, or sublessor of a self-service storage facility, the owner's agent, or any other person authorized by the owner to manage the facility, or to receive rent from an occupant.

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

XII.  "Rented space" means the individual storage space at the self-service storage facility that is rented to an occupant under a rental agreement.

XIII.  "Rental agreement" means any written agreement that establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, or rules concerning the use and occupancy of a rented space at a self-service storage facility.

XIV.  "Self-service storage facility" means any real property designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage space in which the occupants themselves customarily store and remove their own personal property on a self-service basis.  A self-service storage facility is not a warehouse as the term warehouse is used in RSA 382-A:7.

XV.  "Verified mail" means any method of mailing that is offered by the United States Postal Service or any other carrier, and which provides evidence of mailing.

451-C:2  Restrictions on Use.

I.  An owner shall not knowingly permit a rented space at a self-service storage facility to be used for residential purposes.

II.  An occupant shall not use a rented space for residential purposes.

451-C:3  Entry of Owner into Rented Space.  An owner may enter a rented space without notice to the occupant for the purpose of inspection, repair, alteration, emergency, improvement, or providing other services that are reasonably necessary or were agreed to by the occupant.

451-C:4  Storage Lien.  The owner of a self-service storage facility has a lien on all personal property stored within each rented space for rent, fees, labor, or other charges, and for expenses reasonably incurred in its sale.

451-C:5  Motor Vehicles.  If the personal property in the rented space is a motor vehicle or trailer, and any of the rent, charges, fees, or expenses remain unpaid for at least 30 days, the owner of the self-service storage facility may have the motor vehicle or trailer towed by an insured towing company.  If the owner of the self-service storage facility has the motor vehicle or trailer towed, the owner of the self-service storage facility need not comply with RSA 451-C:10.  The owner of the self-service storage facility has no liability to any person for the removal of the motor vehicle or trailer or any damage to the motor vehicle or trailer.  Alternatively, the owner may sell the motor vehicle in accordance with RSA 451-C:9 - 451-C:12.

451-C:6  Control of Property in Rented Space.  Unless the rental agreement specifically provides otherwise, until a lien sale under this chapter, the exclusive care, custody, and control of all personal property stored in the rented space remains vested in the occupant.  The occupant's exclusive care, custody, and control does not affect the owner's rights as set forth in this chapter or the rental agreement.

451-C:7  Denial of Access.  The owner may immediately deny the occupant and all others access to the rented space and the self-service storage facility if the owner reasonably suspects that the rented space is being used for residential or other unlawful purposes.

451-C:8  Late Fees.

I  An owner may impose a reasonable late fee in accordance with this section for each service period that an occupant does not pay all rent, charges, fees, or expenses when due.  A late fee shall not be imposed if the occupant pays all rent, charges, fees, and expenses in full by the third day after the due date.

II.  An owner shall not impose a late fee unless the amount of that fee and the conditions for imposing that fee are stated in the rental agreement.

III.  A late fee of $20 or 20 percent of the amount of each rental payment, whichever is greater, is deemed reasonable and does not constitute a penalty.  However, the rental agreement may provide for a late fee in a greater amount if that amount is reasonable.  The owner has the burden of proof that the late fee in the greater amount is reasonable.

451-C:9  Sale of Personal Property.  If any of the rent, charges, fees, or expenses referred to in this chapter or in the rental agreement remain unpaid for 5 days, the owner may deny the occupant and all others access to the rented space and self-service storage facility.  Such denial of access may last until the unpaid rent, charges, fees, and expenses are paid in full.  If after 30 days, any of the rent, charges, fees, or expenses remain unpaid, the owner may remove any locks, may remove any personal property from the rented space and retain such personal property, and after first satisfying the notice provisions of RSA 451-C:10, RSA 451-C:11, and RSA 451-C:12, may proceed to sell such personal property to satisfy the lien.  Proceeds from the sale shall be distributed pursuant to RSA 451-C:12.  If proceeds of the sale are not sufficient to satisfy the occupant's outstanding obligations to the owner, the occupant remains liable to the owner for such deficiency.  An occupant who purposely or knowingly accesses a rented space or removes property from a rented space after being denied access in accordance with the preceding paragraph may be prosecuted under RSA 635:2 and RSA 638:9.

451-C:10  Notice to Lienholder with Regard to a Motor Vehicle.

I.  An owner shall inquire in writing, by verified mail, personal delivery, or any other method permitted by the division of motor vehicles or the secretary of state, to determine from the division of motor vehicles and the secretary of state with regard to a motor vehicle whether a lien exists upon the title to said motor vehicle.  Any such written inquiry that requests information on financing statements filed under RSA 382-A shall be in the form, and subject to the fees, required by that chapter.  If no lien is found, or in the case where the inquiry had been made in writing and no response is received from the division of motor vehicles or the secretary of state within 14 days after such inquiry is sent by verified mail or otherwise delivered, the owner may proceed to sell or otherwise dispose of such motor vehicle as prescribed by this chapter.

II.  If determination is made under the procedure described in paragraph I that a lien exists, a notice of sale under this chapter shall be sent by verified mail to the last known address of each holder of a security interest or lienholder no less than 14 days before the sale.  The notice shall state the time and place of the sale, the property to be sold, and the amount of the rent, charges, fees, or expenses owed.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any lienholder having a properly perfected lien or security interest shall be entitled to remove such personal property from the owner's possession or from the occupant's rented space within 14 days of the date of delivery of the notice of the sale upon payment of all unpaid rents, fees, charges, and expenses for the rented space.  The lienholder's right to possession of the motor vehicle in accordance with this paragraph is established notwithstanding the lack of breach by the owner of such motor vehicle under the debt instrument or security agreement creating the lien or security interest on such motor vehicle.  The owner shall not be responsible for determining priority as between any competing lienholders.  If the owner and the lienholder who has received the notice agree to store the motor vehicle at the facility, the lienholder shall pay the amount of the rent, charges, fees, and expenses due from and after the date of the notice to the lienholder, and pay the monthly rental fee until such personal property is removed from the facility.

III.  Notice by verified mail shall be deemed delivered when deposited with the United States Postal Service or any other carrier if it is properly addressed with postage prepaid.

451-C:11  Notice of Sale.  

I.  A notice of the sale shall be delivered to the occupant in person, by electronic mail or by verified mail to the last known address, no less than 14 days before the sale, stating the time and place of sale, the property to be sold, and the amount of the rent, charges, fees, or expenses owed.

II.  If the sale is to be a public sale at a physical location, notwithstanding the date and time specified in the notice of the sale, the owner may postpone the sale due to inclement weather on the day of the sale.  In the event of a postponement, a notice of the sale shall be delivered to the occupant in person, by electronic mail, or by first-class mail at the last known address, no less than 5 days before the new date of the sale, stating:

(a)  That the sale was postponed due to inclement weather;

(b)  The new date, time, and place of the sale; and

(c)  The amount of the rent, charges, fees, and expenses owed.

III.  Notice by verified mail or first-class mail shall be deemed delivered when deposited with the United States Postal Service or any other carrier if it is properly addressed with postage prepaid.  Notice by electronic mail shall be deemed delivered when properly addressed and sent to the last known electronic mail address for the occupant.

451-C:12  Sale.  If any of the rent, charges, fees, or expenses referred to in this chapter remain unpaid for 30 days, and after complying with the provisions of RSA 451-C:10 and RSA 451-C:11, the owner may sell such personal property as a unit or in parcels at a private or public sale.  The sale may be conducted in person or online where the property is held or stored or through a publicly accessible Internet website.  The proceeds shall first be applied to satisfy such rent, charges, fees, and expenses.  Proceeds remaining after the sale and payment of rent, charges, fees, and expenses to the owner shall then be held for 90 days from the date of sale for delivery on demand to any lienholders of record or to the occupant.  If the balance is not claimed after 90 days, the owner shall report the balance in accordance with RSA 471-C:19.

451-C:13  Disposal of Stored Personal Property.

I.  The owner may dispose of stored personal property without liability to any person if:

(a)  The owner has complied with the provisions of RSA 451-C:10, RSA 451-C:11, and RSA 451-C:12, and no qualified buyer has purchased the personal property; or

(b)  After removing any locks in accordance with RSA 451-C:9, the owner reasonably determines that the personal property has a value less than $500.  Prior to disposing of stored personal property pursuant to this section, the owner shall comply with RSA 451-C:10 but need not comply with RSA 451-C:11 or RSA 451-C:12.

II.  The owner shall notify the occupant in writing by electronic mail or first-class mail no later than 10 days before disposing of the occupant's property that the owner will dispose of the property unless the occupant pays all rent, charges, fees, and expenses by the date provided in the notice.  The owner may include this notice as part of the notice provided pursuant to RSA 451-C:11.

451-C:14  Liability.  An owner acting in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall not be liable to the occupant, lienholder, or any other person.

451-C:15  Savings Clause.  All rental agreements, entered into before the effective date of this chapter which have not been extended or renewed after that date, shall remain valid and may be enforced or terminated in accordance with their terms or as permitted by any other law of this state.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impair or affect the right of the parties to create additional rights, duties, and obligations in and by virtue of the rental agreement.

451-C:16  Value of Stored Property.  If a rental agreement contains a limit on the value of personal property that may be stored in the occupant's rented space, the limit is deemed to be the maximum value of the stored personal property and the maximum liability of the owner for any claim by any person.

451-C:17  Purchaser.  A purchaser in good faith of personal property under the provisions of this chapter shall take the personal property free and clear of any other's rights, even if the owner has not complied with the provisions of this chapter or the rental agreement.

451-C:18  Disclosure.  An owner of a self-service storage facility shall disclose, in any rental agreement, the terms and conditions of such rental agreement and the notice provisions of RSA 451-C to an occupant before renting or leasing the rented space.  The rental agreement shall contain a provision allowing the occupant to disclose any lienholders with an interest in the property that is or will be stored in the rented space.

2  Reference Change.  Amend the following RSA provisions by replacing RSA 451-C:1, VII with RSA 451-C:1, XV: RSA 231:43,II; 262:2, III; 262:36-a, III; 325-A:3, III; 444:4-a; 451-B:3, III; 674:27, V; 674:66, I(a); 676:4, I(d)(1); 676:4-a, III; and 676:7, I(a).

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 90 days after its passage.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and Referred to Commerce; SJ 4
March 12, 2019 Hearing: 03/12/2019, Room 100, SH, 02:00 pm; SC 13

Action Dates

Date Body Type
March 12, 2019 Senate Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

SB192 Revision: 5197 Date: Jan. 22, 2019, 10:19 a.m.