Katie Smith/iStock/Getty Images
Rented Storage Space
Storage unit auctions allow the public to bid on the contents of a storage unit that was rented by someone. If the renter stops paying the monthly fee on the storage unit, the rental company must go through a series of actions in order to secure the legal right to auction off whatever is inside.The procedure varies from state to state and sometimes from county to county. The general rules are that the storage company must send the renter a specific number of letters, which must all be certified to ensure that the renter receives them. Then, the storage company usually must place an ad in the classified section of the local newspaper advertising the auction of the storage items. The state or country will mandate how long the ads must run and how long the auction company must wait for the renter to respond before it can auction off the storage contents.
Once the appropriate amount of time has passed, the company can auction off the full contents of the unit, though the renter can still show up to pay the back rent and prevent the auction up until the event begins. If the renter does not show up, the auction can start. A rental company employee kicks off the auction by choosing one of the units to be auctioned off and opening it to the public, though those in attendance may not go inside. The employee then starts the bidding, asking how much bidders will pay for it.
Storage Auction Bidding
Storage unit bidding is usually less formal than an estate or government auction, as bidders generally don't have paddles. Instead, they call out the amounts they are willing to pay until the highest amount is bid. The highest bidder is given paperwork to sign in order to transfer ownership of the contents to his name. Most companies require the new owner to remove everything in the unit and pay in cash on the same day as the auction.