In the News

Bill Perrone Provides Perspective on New Michigan Law: Public Act 61 of 2014

Says Just-Signed Act Provides “Much Needed” Regulatory Relief to Self-Storage Facility Owners and Operators

April 3, 2014

William J. Perrone, Office Managing Member of Dykema’s Lansing office and a member in the Firm’s Government Policy & Practice—where he concentrates on state regulatory matters—authored an article, “Understanding the Benefits of 2014 Public Act 61,” that appears in the April 2014 issue of SSAM Industry Insights, the monthly newsletter for the Self-Storage Association of Michigan. Perrone not only serves as the Association’s legal counsel, but played a central role in bringing the organization into existence in 2007.

In the article, Perrone explains how this Act—signed into law on March 26, 2014 by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder—brings significant and much-needed regulatory relief and liability protections to the state’s self-storage facility owners and operators.

Among the key provisions of the law that Perrone highlights in his article:

  • Authorizes Rental Agreements to provide for a “reasonable” late charge for customers who fail to make timely payments for storage space. Until this Act, Perrone notes, the authorization of, or limit on, late fees was not addressed, producing inconsistency and confusion.
  • Authorizes Facilities to have titled vehicles and watercraft towed from the Facility in lieu of proceeding to a lien sale. This new option, says Perrone, provides an alternate way to dispose of these items, without the time or expense of notifying lienholders and proceeding directly to a lien sale. Further, Facilities owners can now retain all sale proceeds—for the balance of the stored property—sold at a lien sale.
  • Authorizes a Facility to dispose of any property that is not lawful for the Facility to sell without liability for the Facility to sell without liability to any person for such disposal. This provision covers such items as firearms or drugs that are found in a storage unit. Now, Facility owners can freely turn these items over to local law enforcement officials with no worry of liability for these items.

SSAM leadership not only took an active role shepherding these changes through the Michigan Legislature—resulting in the Governor’s signing this initiative into law in late March—but Perrone himself drafted the amendments, met with legislators to explain the policy reasons behind the proposed changes, and testified before legislative committees in support of the amendments.