With average NYC rent prices pushing almost $4,000 per month these days, there’s no denying that living in New York City is a pricey endeavor. This fact may sway some people to consider moving into storage units as a cost-effective way to live. After all, many Stop & Stor units start at less than $100 per month plus our facilities are immaculately clean and constantly maintained. Even our restrooms are spotless.
However, it is illegal to live in a storage unit, and in all situations, it is also unsafe to even attempt to make a storage unit your home. Here’s why you cannot live in a storage unit and better alternatives for affordable housing in New York City.
When you sign a storage unit contract, one of the things you must agree to is that no one will attempt to live inside the unit. Living in storage units violates local and federal laws, as well as building codes, which means that you could face monetary fines and criminal charges if you attempt to do this.
Although we take pride in how clean and well-maintained our storage units are, they are not designed for human habitation. For example, none of our units are equipped with running water or plumbing to enable you to keep up with your personal hygiene. Although we do offer climate-controlled storage units, the temperature inside can still range from 55 to 85 degrees, which is not what most people are used to for heating and air conditioning. Our units also do not have windows to let the natural light inside.
Unlike a house or apartment, storage units are built to lock from the outside only. This means that you could potentially get locked inside of a unit that you are illegally staying in and have no way out. Unless you get cell phone reception to make a call or a staff member doing security rounds hears you inside the unit, you could be stuck inside for hours or days without food, water, or a bathroom.
For all of these reasons, it is never a good idea to try living in a storage unit. But fortunately, there are better options for affordable places to live in New York City. Friends or family members may be able to let you stay with them for a few days while you figure out a housing plan. There are also homeless shelters and resources offered through YMCA groups and other local nonprofit organizations. NYC Housing Connect is an online portal where you can apply for affordable rental opportunities and housing lotteries in the five boroughs of New York City. If you are able to travel outside the city, camping in a tent or van may be a temporary option as well.
If you are unsure about what you are allowed to put in Stop and Stor storage units, we are happy to answer any questions you have. There are so many things that you can stash away in one of our units until you need them later, but people, animals, and plants are definitely on the list of what is prohibited. Contact us online or give us a call at 718-698-8000 to learn more!