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We have compiled the latest news and resources related to the self storage industry in your state.

The Dakotas Self Storage Association, together with the national Self Storage Association, has been collaborating on how best to update North and South Dakota’s lien laws. If you are interested in helping with this effort, have a relationship with our policymakers, or would otherwise be interested in writing letters of support or testifying on behalf of the industry, please let us know.
January 2021



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. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.

North Dakota Lien Law

North Dakota Gov. Burgum signed SB2330 into law on March 24, 2021.  The law addresses all of the SSA’s priority issues and takes effect on August 1, 2021. SSA is preparing a manual that explains the new provisions of the law, which will be available soon.

North Dakota Lien Law Significantly Updated

The SSA and the North Dakota Self Storage Association obtained a significant overhaul of the North Dakota lien law that addresses all the SSA’s priority issues. North Dakota Senate Bill 2330 was signed into law by Governor Burgum and takes effect on August 1, 2021.

Newspaper advertising. Many state lien laws require advertisements in the newspaper before an operator may proceed to sale. Generally, in those states, the operator must advertise once or twice in the newspaper before the sale. Starting August 1, 2021, North Dakota storage operators need not advertise in the newspaper but must advertise the time, place, and terms of the sale in a commercially reasonable manner at least seven days before the sale. An advertisement is deemed commercially reasonable if at least three (3) independent bidders attend the sale in person or online at the time and place advertised. North Dakota operators will now be allowed to advertise online through auction websites and sites such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.

Notice by verified mail. North Dakota operators will soon be able to send required notices via verified mail, which is a term of art and includes U.S. Mail with certificate of mailing. U.S. Mail with certificate of mailing provides proof that the notice has been sent and automatically forwards to a new address. This provides a greater assurance that the tenant will receive the notice and is less expensive than certified mail.

Notice by email. Many self storage tenants are in transition and prefer to receive lien and other notices via email. Unlike physical addresses, email addresses typically remain the same when an individual moves. North Dakota operators will soon be able to provide notice via email.

Contractual value limitation. Many operators include in their rental agreement a limitation of the value of the property that the tenant may store in the unit. Value limitations are a necessary tool for operators because they have no reasonable means to know the type or value of property that customers are storing on a self-service basis. In the event of a lawsuit, this is a powerful tool to reduce any potential damages owed to a tenant. Statutory recognition for this type of provision was included in the 2021 amendments.

Optional towing. Many storage operators do not want to go through the process for selling titled property. The process can be cumbersome, and many operators are not frequently called upon to conduct these sales. Towing avoids the need for a sale and allows operators to return the space to inventory faster. Starting August 1, 2021, if the personal property subject to the lien in North Dakota is a motor vehicle, watercraft, or trailer, and rent or other charges remain unpaid for sixty days, the owner may have the property towed in lieu of selling it.

Late fee safe harbor. Once the law takes effect, North Dakota operators will be expressly permitted by statute to charge a late fee of twenty dollars or twenty percent of a delinquent monthly rent payment due under the rental agreement, whichever is greater, for each delinquent payment of rent, fees, or other charges due under the rental agreement.

South Dakota Lien Law



Dakotas Lien Law

Unsure about a detail in your state lien law? Click here to download your state lien law.

North Dakota                        South Dakota