With special guest: Joe Doherty
In this newsletter Joe Doherty, Attorney and Lobbyist of SSA Legal Network, gives you a panoramic view on Lien Law changes that have occured or may occur in 2023.
The SSA Legal Network works to better the self-storage business environment through improving and modernizing the law. Below please find their latest report out to the community.
Navigating a Changing Legal Environment
One of the complexities of Lien Laws is that just as soon as the entire team is trained, they change. Managing the change can be quite a task. The AI Lean Team stays ahead of the game by working with the industry’s most prominent lawyers who are out on the field every day, directly impacting lien laws through lobbying on behalf of the industry and helping you to navigate change. The best news? The AI Lean workflow is dynamic and can easily be updated, and we are watching for these legal changes everyday to keep both our process and you up to speed. In this edition of AI Lean’s Legal Corner, please receive directly from expert Joe Doherty this important update on legislative changes that are in the air for 2023.
AI Lean: Joe, can you inform our community of self-storage operators and their internal legal teams about changes in lien laws that have occurred in Q1-2023?
Joe Doherty: The SSA and its affiliated state associations have successfully advocated for lien law changes in three states so far this year.
First, in Virginia, the lien law will soon permit the towing of watercraft after the tenant is in default for more than 60 days and the operator has provided notice to the tenant. The state already has an existing process for towing vehicles.
In Kansas, that state’s lien law will allow the towing of vehicles, watercraft, and trailers if the tenant is in default for more than 60 days and the operator has provided notice to the tenant. For motor vehicles only, the law will also require that towing of vehicles is permitted by the applicable local city or county ordinance where the facility is located.
Finally, in Indiana, the lockout and lien enforcement timelines have been reduced from 30 days and 90 days respectively to 5 days and 60 days. Additionally, the Indiana law will require the operator to provide space in the rental agreement for the tenant to disclose an alternative contact. If the tenant discloses an alternative contact, the operator must send any default notices to that person. All three laws take effect on July 1, 2023.
AI Lean: What changes do you think could potentially happen in the next 3 months? Any changes that you can see coming to fruition in Q2 2023?
Joe Doherty: We continue to work on several bills, with a particular focus on bills that allow for alternatives to newspaper advertising of lien sales. It is premature to say which efforts will be successful. In particular, I hope to have good news to share soon regarding positive changes to the advertising requirements in California, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Texas.
AI Lean: Any other risks or opportunities you would like to see operators plan for or at least pay attention to for the near future when it comes to the lien law or other aspects of the law in general?
Joe Doherty: I make a point of emphasizing at state conferences that too many operators are not taking advantage of the lien law reforms that have passed over the last 15 years. For example, nearly every state has eliminated the certified mail requirement, but some operators continue to needlessly use certified mail. Additionally, more than 30 states allow for alternatives to newspaper advertising. Operators in those states should strongly consider moving to more effective, less costly options for advertising their sales. The reforms that the SSA and state associations have achieved lead to significant cost savings and operational efficiencies for operators that implement those states. Check out the SSA’s Public Library for the latest version of each state’s lien law.
AI Lean: Thank you Joe for your time and insights! We’re excited to share this information with our clients.