Sleeping in a storage unit might seem like a great idea, especially since rents in many places are so high nowadays. Wishing to save money on rent and bills, you might think using your storage unit as a living space is an efficient way to save money, especially if you’re on the brink of homelessness. But can you indeed sleep in a storage unit?
You can’t sleep in a storage unit, as it’s illegal, no matter the circumstances. Using a storage space for anything other than storing your things is considered a felony. Moreover, it’s not conducive to safe living standards. You may well find that your health and well-being suffer because of it.
In the rest of this article, I’ll go through why it’s illegal to sleep in a storage unit, the multiple safety, and personal well-being hazards, and why you should consider other options if you feel like you have no other choice.
Why It’s Illegal to Sleep in a Storage Unit
Even though it may seem like a good idea, you’ll inevitably find that there are a few legal issues with sleeping in a storage unit.
You might think you can use it however you wish because you’re paying for the use of your storage unit. Nonetheless, residential services aren’t your storage company’s priority, and it’s not part of the services they offer.
You’ll most likely find that the contract you signed at the beginning of your lease will specify what you’re permitted (and indeed not permitted) to use the storage space for, and in all probability, it’ll mention that you can’t use it as a place to sleep.
That’s primarily because of the storage unit’s insurance policy, as it cannot be held liable for any injuries or harm that might come to you while sleeping inside one of the units.
In all circumstances, it would help if you remembered that it’s illegal to live in any place that hasn’t been authorized as a residential place, and various local and state housing laws outlaw it.
Additionally, the punishment for sleeping in your storage unit will be a lot more severe if you have children sleeping there with you. You’ll face criminal charges and potentially be up for jail time.
Why Is It Dangerous to Sleep in a Storage Unit?
It’s dangerous to sleep in a storage unit due to the plethora of health and safety problems that might arise. You won’t have access to electricity all the time, and you risk putting yourself in fire danger. Furthermore, you might get dehydrated or even locked from inside.
You see, most storage units don’t have 24-hour electrical facilities, and many facilities practice safety measures such as switching off the electricity after closing hours to prevent overuse.
You need to watch out for fire hazards, too. Given that storage facilities are where flammable objects and potentially dangerous equipment are stored, fires can easily break out, potentially leaving you trapped inside your unit with no place to go.
When deciding where to rest your head at night, you have to think about bathroom facilities. Most storage units don’t have public bathrooms or running water outside the main entrance building.
Because of this, if you try to live inside your storage unit, you could easily find yourself with problems such as dehydration, issues related to personal hygiene.
As mentioned earlier, you could get locked inside the storage unit. Many units have self-closing doors, and most roll-up doors aren’t built to open from the inside. If you try to keep the door from closing, you’ll likely be discovered by the management at the storage unit. The worst-case scenario is being locked inside and unable to get out for long periods.
You Should Get Natural Light and Maintain Your Well-Being
When deciding where to live, your well-being must be a priority. Pretty much all storage units are without windows or proper ventilation, so you’ll likely end up depressed, anxious, and listless.
Your health will inevitably suffer if you spend all day trapped inside a storage unit trying not to make any noise. Without access to natural light, your immune system will eventually suffer, you’ll be constantly exhausted, and your body will be severely deficient in vitamin D.
Even though it may seem like a last resort, and it might be a last desperate attempt to keep yourself off the streets, sleeping inside your storage unit is not sustainable for your mental and physical health.
One thing to remember is that storage facilities almost invariably have security measures that could prevent you from comfortably living inside your rented unit.
CCTV is permanently installed in storage facilities, coded gates and entryways, and on-site staff whose job is to protect the belongings inside the units. If they find you living inside one of the units, unfortunately, they’ll have to evict you (and potentially prosecute you), even if they don’t want to do so.
Unless you’re utterly silent in your storage unit, keep your comings and goings at a minimum, and ensure you’re not cooking or smoking inside your unit, then you may not be able to get away with it for long.
However, there’s no viable way to keep your presence undetected in the long term. The storage unit management may discover you.
Finally, most storage units don’t operate 24 hours a day and often run regular business hours. During this time, you may be able to come and go as you please, but after the unit’s closing time, you’ll be locked up until the following day.
It’s never a good idea to consider living inside a storage unit. Aside from the health and safety hazards and security measures that’ll inevitably lead to your eviction and prosecution, it’s also an incredibly uncomfortable place to live.
It should also go without saying that you should never subject children to such bad living conditions, and doing so will inevitably result in your imprisonment.
It’s not a long-term solution to homelessness and will eventually land you with more problems than you had before.