South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Self-Storage Unit Must Notify Renters of Pending Sale of Property Held in Storage

Appeals court held that for a self-storage facility to sell a renterís possessions to make up past due rent was unfair because the facility failed to notify the renter of the action it was about to take. Notification is required by state law.


Consumer Protection

Key Words

Unfair Conduct; Self Storage Act

C A S E   S U M M A R Y

Hill rented a self-storage unit from PS on a month-by-month basis. After two months, Hill called PS to say that his monthly payment would be one week late. He was told that his account would be past due. Two months later, Hill called to get the balance due and was told that his belongings had already been auctioned off for failure to pay. Hill claims his property was worth over $25,000 and that he had never been notified that the auction would occur. The matter is governed by the state Storage Act. Hill sued, claiming unfair business practices in violation of the Storage Act and the state Consumer Fraud Act. The trial court dismissed the suit; Hill appealed.


Reversed. Hill stated a claim under the Consumer Fraud Act. He alleges that PS failed to provide him with any notice that his personal property was being sold at a lien sale to recover past due rent. That notice is required by the Storage Act. PS also failed to notify Hill of the outcome of the lien sale or to acknowledge that it was required to return any surplus from the sale. Such actions, if shown to be true, state a claim of unfair conduct under the Consumer Fraud Act.


Hill v. PS Illinois Trust, ---N.E.2d--- (2006 WL 2739016, Ct. App., Ill., 2006)

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