Is It Legal to Live in a Cheap Storage Unit?

Right now, it’s a terrible time to be a renter. Rent prices are increasing every year, and prices are skyrocketing in cities everywhere. Homelessness is on the rise thanks to unaffordable rent. And that’s leaving many people struggling to find somewhere to live.

Because rents are steadily increasing, people are looking for creative – and cheap – housing solutions. And storage units can be incredibly cheap. With prices as low as $1 for the first month’s rent and 20 percent off, plus features like security and climate control, living in a storage unit sounds like a pretty great idea.

If you’ve been looking for a way to ditch your expensive monthly rent, a storage unit seems smart. But is living in a storage unit actually doable – and legal?

Why Would Anyone Live in a Storage Unit?

It’s no secret that the cost of housing is getting out of control. Rent is skyrocketing in nearly every zip code. And that’s forcing adults to devote the bulk of their income to their rent. 

What’s even more frustrating is that the massive amount of rent you’re paying likely isn’t because you have a spacious apartment. It’s getting tougher and tougher to afford even studio apartments, which can total over $1,000 in some cities.

Right now, rent is increasing across the board. And there’s no sign of these price increases slowing down. Livible reports that rent is up in 89 out of 100 of the biggest U.S. housing markets. And rent is increasing by more than 20 percent in cities everywhere. For example, cities like Stockton, California and Colorado Springs, Colorado have seen rent increases of 28.5 and 27.3 percent over the past five years. 

That’s a huge increase. But oddly enough, renting a storage unit doesn’t come with these same rent increases. You can pay a small fee each month and lock in a price. And with discounts, special offers, and low introductory pricing, you could rent a storage fee for a tiny percentage of what you’re paying to rent your apartment.

Has Anyone Ever Lived in a Storage Unit?

It might sound a little crazy, and it certainly sounds unusual. But living in a storage unit also sounds pretty affordable compared to today’s rising rent prices. Yet has anyone actually managed to make a home out of a storage unit?

At least one person has done exactly that. YouTube personality 007Craft not only turned a storage unit into a living space, but he also chronicled his experience on video. He showed off his transformed storage unit, which included a bed, lighting, and personal belongings. Though the storage unit was just 10 feet by 10 feet in size, 007Craft claimed he’d been living there for two months. He had 24-hour access to the unit and was allowed to be inside the unit anytime, for any length of time. He also claimed that he hadn’t been caught, and shared his storage unit living tips with viewers.

Unfortunately, the storage unit company found out that 007Craft was living in his rented unit. And the company didn’t hesitate to take action – the YouTuber was evicted.

Is Moving Into a Storage Unit Legal?

Although copying 007Craft’s idea and moving into a storage unit will certainly save you money, it isn’t the best idea. First and foremost, living inside of a storage unit isn’t legal.

As the YouTube personality found out when he was evicted, it’s illegal to live inside a storage unit of any kind. Storage units aren’t built according to housing codes and laws, and living inside of one could get you in serious legal trouble. Living inside of one will violate city zoning laws as well as health, safety, and sanitation laws.

Additionally, sleeping in a storage unit can lead to other legal woes. You’ll be in breach of your rental contract with the storage unit company. You can also face trespassing charges for being on the property overnight.

So, while the price may be tempting, it isn’t a good idea to try to push these legal limitations. The only thing you should store in a storage unit is personal belongings.

There Are Other Options

While no one wants to watch their money disappear each month due to rent, it isn’t a good idea to try to live in a storage unit. It’s illegal, and it could result in much greater problems once you’re caught.

Fortunately, if you’re struggling to pay your rent, there are other options. If you can’t find somewhere that’s within your budget, you need to search for legal, safe housing options that can save you money. These can include government assistance, low-income housing opportunities, and even moving to cheaper cities. 

You can search for a number of different affordable housing solutions online. Just make sure that the living arrangement you’re looking for is legal and allowed.

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