Gavel on book

22 Apr Nebraska Will Go Another Year Without Self Storage Lien Law

By Alex Hassel, Storage.com

Nebraska, one of the two states left in the U.S. without a self storage lien law, will have to wait a little longer to get one. Nebraska’s 2016 legislative session ended on April 20, and LB 854 has been indefinitely postponed. The Nebraska Self Storage Owners Association (NSSOA) is already looking ahead to next year.

With a lien law, a self storage operator who provides the required notifications to a defaulted renter before auctioning off their property won’t run into any legal problems. However, without one, members of the NSSOA believe that, even with a written agreement, a renter could legally challenge the operator’s ability to do that and win.

Bill Lange, President of NSSOA, started the organization along with a few others in 2014 to fix the problem. After careful planning and assistance from the Self Storage Association (SSA), NSSOA hired Lobbyist Don Wesley of O’Hara Lindsay & Associates to join the effort.

The team found help from Senator Colby Coash and Senator Les Seiler who sponsored LB 854. Senator Coash introduced the bill soon after Nebraska’s legislative session started in January 2016. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee soon afterward and had a hearing, but then everything stopped.

“There were a few things that happened,” says Lange. “We were opposed by banking lobbyists. They basically don’t like anyone to have liens except for the banks. However, everyone on the Judiciary Committee was in favor overall, but some had some issues with language in the lien portion. Even then, we were competing for attention with so many other bills. Ours was not a priority bill. So that’s why it never came to a vote.”

Wesley adds, “It’s the first time the bill has come up. The committee was unfamiliar with the concept, so we had to do more work on it than we had time for. When you get language complication, you have to work on it.”

Looking at another year without a lien law for Nebraska’s self storage industry, though, Lange says, “I’m just disappointed. My point was to get a procedure in place that everyone could follow so that they didn’t put their businesses at risk. If everyone followed these guidelines and timelines, then the owner would be protected.”

There is some concern due to Coash leaving the senate this year. However, Wesley says Senator Seiler should be able to bring the bill back to the forefront next year.

“This year’s session was only 60 working days, so there were time constraints. Next year’s session is a long session at 90 days so hopefully we’ll have a better chance then,” says Wesley.

If LB 854 doesn’t pass after the 2017 legislative session, it dies, and the NSSOA will have to start over again.

Alex Hassel is News Reporter for Storage.com. If you’d like to pitch Alex a self storage industry news story, email [email protected] or call 402-779-7328.

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