In today’s world, people can purchase properties as much as they like as long as they have the means and the money for it. They can also have the freedom to reside anywhere they like. However, due to the property laws and policies that have been put in place, every type of property has a designated use regardless of whether an individual owns it or not.
Some properties are meant specifically for commercial use, some for industrial use, others for farming, and others for residence. These distinctions restrict people from residing in properties specifically meant for anything else other than housing or residence.
Spaces such as storage units are not meant for people to reside in them for various reasons. But people still wonder, can you live in a storage unit since you already own it?
What are Storage Units?
Sometimes people own assets they cannot really keep in their homes due to reasons such as space and sometimes because they want to keep them safe. These can be furniture, clothing items, toys, and anything individuals own but feel they cannot store in their homes.
Storage units are rented out to such people, usually on a temporary basis. The individual rents the space so that they can store their possessions. They have full ownership of these units for as long as they pay for them. They lose ownership of these units the moment they stop paying for them. They can also terminate ownership of the units when they no longer need them.
Can You Live In a Storage Unit?
Even though you own the storage unit and pay full rent, it is primarily meant for storage and not for residence. This means using it for housing purposes is strictly prohibited and is punishable by the law. Even homeless people use storage units specifically for storing stuff they owned in their previous life. Storage units are not open for housing to even genuinely homeless people who do not have any place to stay.
Why Can’t You Live in a Storage Unit?
Living in a storage unit, even if it is yours is illegal and can and will result in instant eviction and possible criminal charges. It is also extremely unhealthy and unsafe as storage units are not built for human habitation. Storage units are built solely for the purpose of storing goods and not people.
It is illegal.
Firstly, and most importantly, this is illegal because it goes against all the principles, laws, and policies that govern property and real estate. If the individual has children, knowingly exposing them to these conditions is also illegal.
Storage units are only certified for purposes of storage. Upon renting one, the individual in question is only given permission to use it specifically for storage. Anything beyond that is a violation of the existing contract and therefore a violation of the laws that govern storage units. It also goes against the real estate policies in that storage units are commercial properties meant only for producing income through offering storage to people who need it.
It is not safe.
Storage units are primarily built for things that do not breathe or require special conditions in order to survive. This means it does not have features that create favorable conditions for human habitation.
- There is no ventilation.
This means these units do not allow for free circulation of air. The air inside is not filtered or diluted and therefore is toxic. There is no air coming into the unit from outside, this means there is little or no oxygen. Anyone who stays locked inside a storage unit for a long time is then at risk of conditions such as shortness of breath, hypersensitivity, headaches, fatigue, coughing, and nausea. In the worst-case scenario, the individuals may end up dead.
- There is no sanitation and no electricity
Their lack of sanitation makes it extremely difficult and inconvenient to live inside them. People have a basic need to have access to proper sanitation. Without sanitation, people are vulnerable to numerous diseases such as diarrhea. It reduces the quality and the function of life. Also due to the fact that individuals who reside in these units do so illegally, they may want to avoid using toilets within the premise. This will then force them to resort to alternative means that allow them to minimize movement and remain in their unit.
Storage units also do not have running water. Individuals who stay there may not have access to water at all. In the worst-case scenario, their health is most likely to be compromised as a result of dehydration.
No access to electricity in most instances means no access to lights and other things that need electricity in order to function. You will not be able to do the most basic things such as charging your phone.
- It is super uncomfortable
Units are usually small spaces and often stuffed with furniture and other things. This makes one susceptible to things such as claustrophobia as the spaces are generally small.
It also means one does not have a permanent address or any address at all. This means individuals cannot receive mail or access any public or private services that requires them to have a permanent address. It is most likely going to be difficult to get a job or receive any form of aid or assistance.
You have other options.
Homelessness is something that can happen to anyone because we all exist in vulnerable situations that are subject to change at any given moment. You can always get help from family or friends, if that is not an option there are other public services available to people who may find themselves in such difficult situations.
In instances of homelessness, it is more advisable to resort to means that will help better your situation and not add on to the problems you may already be facing. Living in a storage unit should not be an option as it is not safe and definitely not legal.