LEGAL UPDATE SPRING 2023
Indiana Cuts Lien Timelines; Alternative Contact Now Required
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb recently signed SSA-backed HB 1621, which takes effect on July 1. Starting on that date, Indiana owners will be permitted to deny access after an occupant has been in default for at least five (5) continuous days. Current law requires the operator to wait at least thirty (30) days.
Further, the law will permit owners to enforce their lien rights and sell the property after the occupant has been in default for at least sixty (60) continuous days. This is a reduction from the current 90-day timeline. Both amendments eliminate two of the longest timelines in the country and bring Indiana in line with its neighboring states.
The law was also amended to expressly permit towing of trailers, in addition to watercraft and motor vehicles. Beyond those changes, HB1621 requires the owner to provide space in the rental agreement for the occupant to designate an alternative contact to receive notices. If an alternative contact is provided, the owner must send required notices to that person, in addition to the occupant.
The updated Annotated Indiana Lien Law that explains all the 2023 amendments and the other portions of the law will be available soon on SSA’s website. Please direct any questions to Joe Doherty.
LEGAL UPDATE - SUMMER 2022
Property Tax Win for Indiana Owners. The SSA and Indiana SSA secured passage of Indiana Senate Bill 382. The bill ensures the fairness of property tax assessments for self storage facilities in the state. The bill requires an assessment based upon the true tax value of the facility, which must be determined based solely on the land and the improvements, less normal depreciation and normal obsolescence, and must exclude business intangible value. Business intangible value is any value of the self-service storage facility and related business operations in excess of the depreciated replacement cost of the improvements and the value of the land. Although the assessor may consider the three typical methods of assessing property, the assessor must select the lowest of the three while taking into account the requirements stated above. Governor Holcomb signed the bill into law in March. The bill applies to assessments on or after January 1, 2023.
March 1, 2021
Building Code Update
BUILDING CODES UPDATE
Changes to the International Building Code Affect Self Storage
With the support of its Code Committee, the Self Storage Association successfully pursued several key changes to the 2021 International Building Code.
An exception has been added to IBC Section 2902.3.3 to permit an increase in the location (to greater than every other floor) and maximum distance of travel (to greater than 500 ft) for restrooms. The location and travel distance must be approved by the code official.
The maximum allowable height of sprinklered facilities made of Type IIB materials (unprotected steel) and Type IIIB materials (noncombustible or fire-retardant-treated wood stud exterior walls and any interior construction) has been increased from 3 stories to 4 stories. The Code continues to have total floor and building square footage limits.
Pursuant to modified IBC Section 903.2.9, storage facilities are exempt from the automatic sprinkler system requirement if: (1) the total fire area is 12,000 sq. ft. or less; (2) the combined total fire areas are 24,000 sq. ft. or less; (3) the facility is no greater than one story above grade plane; and (4) all storage spaces are accessed directly from the exterior.
These changes go into effect as they are adopted by local and state governments over the next several years. Prior to the adoption on the local and state level, storage developers can request that the code official rely on the 2021 changes as acceptable alternative methods of construction pursuant to section 104.11 of the existing International Building Code.
Please email Joe Doherty with any questions or to receive supporting documentation for these changes.
April 1, 2020
New Leave Law to Impact Storage Industry, Effective April 1
As reported last week, the new federal leave law takes effect on April 1. Employers must provide notice to their employees immediately if they have not done so already. The notice can be found here.
SSA’s updated FAQs can be found here. The updated FAQs answer questions on issues such as the posting requirements for the notice and the limited exemption available to employers with fewer than 50 employees.
The Department of Labor’s complete FAQs can be found here.
Employers are strongly encouraged to discuss the new law with their legal counsel. Please email Joe Doherty, email@example.com, with any questions.
Indiana Lien Law Reform Bill Signed Into Law
The national Self Storage Association would like to congratulate the Indiana SSA for its work in getting the Indiana lien law reform bill signed into law in March. The law allows operators to charge monthly late fees of $20 or 20 percent of the tenant’s rent, whichever is greater, and to recover all reasonable costs of rent collection and lien enforcement. The law also clarifies that late fees and reasonable costs are part of the operator’s lien upon the tenant’s personal property. Operators must comply with the law starting no later than July 1, 2018. Many thanks to national SSA Board Member Jefferson Shreve for testifying in support of the bill.
The Indiana Self Storage Association, together with the national Self Storage Association, continues to work on a number of issues to protect and improve your regulatory arena. In recent years we have worked hard to update lien law provisions, providing consistency with recent improvements in other states.