The national SSA has many resources and webinars available focused on COVID-19 and our industry. Click here to access news about COVID-19 and self storage. Invitations to register for the webinars are being sent to state and national members, specifically, the primary contact's email address.
For the latest information from Montana on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the governor’s office website and your state’s department of health here. Be sure to carefully monitor the situation and check on updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov, regulatory agencies as well as local health officials.
Please also read the letter from Tim Dietz, SSA President and CEO, that provides resources and information related to states of emergency and pricing restrictions here.
03/30/2020 - 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions.
Changes to the International Building Code Affect Self Storage - March 2019
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.
Lien Law Modernization Update - March 2019
Governor Bullock recently signed HB160, which further modernizes the state’s self storage lien law following the MT-SSA and SSA’s efforts in 2017. HB160 goes into effect on October 1, 2019.
The changes included in HB160 provide significant cost and operational savings for Montana operators and provide operators with the flexibility to communicate in the renter’s preferred method. The key changes include:
(1) Allowing lien notices to be sent by email only when the occupant provides his or her email address.
(2) Allowing lien notices to be sent by verified mail only (a method of mailing that provides evidence of mailing – for example, U.S. Mail with certificate of mailing.). Current law requires lien notices to be sent by “United States certified mail, standard mail, and electronic mail, if provided by the renter.”
(3) Expanding the permitted grounds for denial of access to include use of the space for residential or unlawful purposes and the renter failing to vacate the space after the rental agreement is terminated. Current law allows for denial of access only for non-payment of rent.
(4) Clarifying the operator’s obligations to the renter when inspecting a storage space.
(5) Clarifying that the advertisement of the lien law meets the law’s requirements if the sale is attended or viewed by at least three people. This is especially important in the context of online lien sales.
Special thanks to Reps. Brad Tschida, Greg DeVries, and Ryan Lynch for sponsoring this legislation and to MT-SSA advisory board members Bob McCue, Kiira Bauerle, and Will Bauerle for testifying in support of the bill.
Please email SSA SVP, Legal & Legislative Counsel, Joe Doherty, if you have any questions. The annual meeting on September 26 in Helena will include a comprehensive review of the lien law.
February 2018 Click HERE for the 2017 Montana Code Annotated
The Montana Self Storage Association, together with the national Self Storage Association, continues to collaborate on how to best serve the Montana self storage industry. Please contact us if you have any questions.