If you’re in danger of being evicted from your current home, you need to move to a new location, or you just don’t want to keep paying a lot of money for rent, you might be thinking about living in a storage unit as a short-term or temporary housing option.
Before you rent a unit and start decorating the walls, though, you’ll want to make sure you understand the legalities and risks that come with trying to live in a storage space. Here’s what you need to know.
Is It Illegal to Live in a Storage Unit?
No, it’s not legal to live in a storage unit. The law requires habitable dwellings, and that includes things like a bathroom and running water.
There are certainly people who live in difficult conditions who may not have these things, but housing laws are in place to try to protect people from living where it’s not safe.
Even a climate-controlled self-storage unit doesn’t meet the codes required for a person to live comfortably or safely.
Why You Can’t Live in a Storage Unit
The main reason you can’t live in a storage unit is that it’s against the law. Some people get away with living in a self-storage unit for a while, but if you get caught, you’ll be asked to leave, and you may not be allowed to continue to rent the unit for your belongings anymore, either.
That could leave you with nowhere to go or to put your things.
Why Living in a Storage Unit Isn’t Safe
People living in storage units are often noticed by the security cameras the self-storage company has installed. If you show up, but they don’t see you leave, it doesn’t take too long to figure out that you’re trying to live in your unit.
You won’t have running water or electricity, and if you don’t have a climate-controlled unit you won’t have heat or air conditioning, either. You could freeze to death in the winter months or end up experiencing heatstroke in the summertime.
What Will Happen if You’re Caught Living in a Storage Unit?
Being required to leave, and move your things out, is one of the things that will happen if you get caught living in a storage unit. Even if you’re experiencing homelessness, don’t try to live in your storage space.
Depending on the lease agreement you have with the self-storage company, you could find yourself facing fines and penalties or even being arrested. That’s only going to make your life more difficult, and it’s not something you want to deal with on top of other concerns.
What It’s Really Like Living in a Storage Unit
The reality of trying to live in a storage unit is that it’s very uncomfortable. It isn’t a good lifestyle, even if you’re trying to save money or not sure where to go. As a short-term or temporary housing option, there are many choices that are better, safer, and not illegal.
Rather than take the risk, avoid trying to live or sleep in your storage unit, even if it’s just for a few nights. It’s simply not worth the problems it could cause.