Here is some interesting information from other states that are working on lien law changes...
Good News in Arizona & Wisconsin; Florida Loses Bid for Lien Improvement
During a busy week as legislatures looked to close their 2010 sessions, lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin gave state SSAs something to cheer about, while Florida lost its bid to remove a costly lien provision.
Arizona - The Arizona SSA has again established a model bill that could be used to establish business-friendly regulations in other states. The measure, signed into law last week, protects operators from liability when "protected property" is left in abandoned units. Firearms, pharmaceuticals, sensitive information and other items are addressed in the new law. It also provides for an e-mail option as "verified mail" in lien situations.
The law was championed by the Arizona SSA and led by Richard Marmor, the Chairman of the AZ-SSA's Legal and Legislative Committee, and promoted by the SSA which contributed $16,000 from its Legislative Issues Fund. Key features of the new law include:
· E-mail will be allowed as another form of "verified mail" in many cases.
· Storage operators will have alternative ways for dealing with "protected property," materials which they were not permitted, by law.
· Storage operators will be able to auction boats, motor vehicles and other property which they could not sell in the past when those items were subject to certain government "restitution" liens.
"Our thanks go out to all the people who made this possible including those AZSA members who have donated to our legislative fund, and to the Self Storage Association for a generous grant from the SSA Legislative Fund," says Martin Lorch, President of the Arizona Self Storage Association. "Without a doubt, this new law is a boon to all self-storage operators in Arizona," he said.
Wisconsin - The state's lien improvement bill, AB707, passed the Senate as one of the last measures considered in the legislature this year. It will likely be signed by Governor Jim Doyle in the next few days. The new law provides for value limitations and protects self storage facilities from non-tenant litigation. An improvement to the existing law that would have given operators the choice of newspaper or Internet-based lien notices was removed before the Senate vote after state publishers objected.
"We believe giving self storage operators an alternative method of advertising for auctions is the natural progression given emerging media options," said SSA Board member Lisa Barth-Chiappetta, who led the Wisconsin effort. "In coming years legislatures, including Wisconsin's, will have to tackle this issue. The most important provisions of this bill were passed however, and we're excited to have a better law moving forward."
Florida - Efforts to replace the existing "certified mail, registered mail" lien notification process with a less expensive alternative were thwarted last week in the Florida House of Representatives. This is the first year that the SSA, together with the Florida SSA, has tried to improve the lien bill in that state. The measure was added to a larger bill two weeks ago, yet it appears politics got in the way and it was removed in the House Rules Committee before a vote was taken. The SSA & Florida SSA are still committed to the Florida campaign and will continue efforts to modernizes the lien statute in that state.