What if you find yourself suddenly homeless one fine day? What will be your next step?
As housing and even rental properties are getting expensive in the UK, many people do not find this question odd anymore. Moreover, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic hitting our livelihoods, most people have suffered a crisis in their respective businesses, and some have even found themselves jobless. Uncertain things like these lead to a massive rise in people losing their homes, either due to a financial constraint or a natural disaster.
For a few people, their friends and family houses are a reliable temporary option to move to, while others who do not know any close relatives think of living in a storage unit, where they usually keep their belongings. However, the latter option is not a sensible one to go for. At least we at The Self-Storage Outlet do not recommend it at any cost.
Is Living In A Storage Unit Legal In The UK?
This answer is not very simple, but No. It is highly illegal to live in a Storage unit in the UK.
Amongst the many laws in the UK that stress upon the legal requirements a building must-have for human inhabitation, Fitness for Human Habitation Act 2018 recently has put forward further specifications.
While the laws view the inhabitability in terms of many factors like structure and integrity, some angles point towards the accessibility of ventilation, natural light, sanitary and toiletry facilities, and availability of cold and hot water, necessary for human habitation.
Nearly 90 percent of the storage units fail to meet all these requirements. Some storage units, such as the STORED local storage unit, have proper ventilation, but that does not make it an ideal place to live.
We, at The Self-Storage Outlet, believe in the fundamental habilitation rights of a human. While our storage units provide top-notch services for storing your belongings, we do not entertain or appreciate people living inside those storage units with no natural light, drainage system, proper heating services, or adequate water supply.
Why Is It A Hazard? – The Reasons Behind This Prohibition?
Living in a storage unit comes with a lot of health, safety, and hygiene hazards. It is also a breach of law. Sometimes, people tend to fall asleep unintentionally inside the storage unit but sleeping without any intention and living there overnight are two different things. Many reputable storage units like the STORED self-storage service may also terminate your lease if you are caught not following the legal guidelines.
- Storage units have no natural light: Yes, that is true that they are well-lit with artificial lights almost every time to deter thieves and criminals, but there are no windows, proper ventilation, or natural sunlight inside a storage unit. It may result in a dark, claustrophobic, dull, and lethargic environment leading to health, precisely psychological dangers.
- Locked doors outside for safety purposes: The Self-Storage Outlet makes sure that our highest security standards are not compromised, which is why we have garage-style roll-up heavy doors that lock from the outside. It allows the complete safety of your belongings inside the storage units. In this scenario, imagine someone is caught up inside. Chances are he will have to stay locked up and confined inside till we unlock the doors. This is again a health hazard.
- Fire hazards: Someone secretly living inside the storage unit will, of course, cook inside for survival, leading to a fire breaking out. Such an incident happened in 2019 where a man accidentally fell asleep inside the unit while the storage unit caught fire, resulting in his ultimate death. With no proper ventilation, using grills and ovens inside is a big NO.
- Breach of Federal housing law may end you up in jail with significant penalties: With the advancement of technology, there is no way you can get away with this illegal move. A STORED local storage unit is one of the top-grade self-storage units that ensure that their managements are proactive in monitoring their facilities efficiently. We have hi-tech CCTVS installed with security guards, foolproof alarms, and system-controlled advanced monitoring at The Self-Storage Outlet and STORED local storage unit. Armed with such great technology makes it almost impossible to ignore someone’s presence inside.
In the end, the law is a law, and not following it will ultimately lead you to face severe civil charges and loss of your belongings.
How Can Self-storage Units Prevent People From Residing Inside Their Space?
Despite several warnings and clear-cut restrictions, some homeless people still manage to go against the law, living inside the storage units with secrecy. One recent example is the American Reddit user 007craft, who managed to live inside a two-month storage unit. His viral YouTube video shows how he cleverly made an apartment-like set up within the unit.
At The Self-Storage Outlet, we highly condemn this illegal act, which is neither intelligent nor beneficial. So, what steps can you take not to let such things happen?
Provide defined terms and conditions in the contract:
You can make it clear to the renter straightaway that living inside the storage unit is strictly illegal. Furthermore, mention possible and harsh legal actions in case of failure to meet this condition.
Take around regularly to keep a check:
A well-trained staff is essential to keep an eye on the premises. This can also help check some of the suspicious or life-threatening mishaps that can go unnoticed by average CCTV cameras. STORED local storage unit keeps regular and vigilant checks through its professional staff to avoid any illegal activity taking place.
Install hi-tech CCTV cameras:
Of course, CCTV cameras are a great help in detecting any unwanted activity 24/7.
Let us be considerate towards the needs of the homeless
Having said that, it is also not encouraged to be insensitive altogether to the needs of the people facing these testing times. The Self-Storage Outlet firmly believes in this. Because let us agree on this, being homeless and jobless are some of the fundamental challenges an ordinary person is fighting from. We can educate them about not choosing the wrong way and instead turn to shelter homes or charity houses to orient them towards the right and legal direction.
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