Everyday people drive by storage units and never know what’s located within them. For the most part, no one ever even gives it much thought. Of course, unless you are one of those people who buy’s storage units when the owner fails to pay the rent.
Now people would say that I am an unusual person when it comes to this. I am always intrigued as to what might be within. Then again, I have a strange imagination and like to try and think what there might be inside.
Of course, when you watch television shows they always seem to be used for nefarious purposes. Then again that stranger and more depraved the use the better it plays into the story being told. But, as I have come to learn they are most often used for perfectly normal things.
One day while driving by a self-storage center I saw a for sale sign. I just assumed it was for a unit that hadn’t been paid for. Either way I decided to stop in and look.
Come to find out the entire place was for sale. The owner was an elderly woman who had owned it with her husband. However, since he had died three months earlier, she just couldn’t handle taking care of the place anymore.
After a brief tour of the facility, I decided that I was going to buy it. She wasn’t asking too much for it, she just wanted out of it. With the help from the bank I could get a loan to purchase it.
Once I took over I made a few minor changes. The first being that I raised the rent an additional hundred dollars per unit. Which was still made it a relatively low cost to rent a unit. After all the largest unit now would only cost seven hundred a month.
My second change was that I wanted to install a sprinkler system. This was to help lower my insurance costs and help protect my investment and my renter’s possessions. For the most part, the tenants liked this change. Of course, there were those that wanted nothing to do with it.
So, I gave these tenants a choice to agree with this change or vacate the property. There were a couple of tenants that happily vacated their units. With the low costs of the units, I had no trouble filling the vacancies.
There was one unit that I never heard from one way or the other. So, I assumed that they were on board with the changes. Now looking back, I realize making that assumption was one of my biggest mistakes.
While the sprinkler installers were putting in the system, I was still unable to contact the renter even after numerous attempts. So, they worked around that unit until the very end.
Finally, since I had not made contact in several weeks, I decided to let them into the unit to do the work. Upon opening the unit, we all got quite a shock.
Inside the unit was an entire apartment. I don’t mean in storage. It was set up to be able to live it. Overall it was impressive to see such a set up.
An even bigger shock was that it was still occupied. The former owner was the tenant which I had no idea. She had been living there for quite some time by the looks of it.
I also found out why I couldn’t get in touch with her. She was sitting in a rocking chair with her knitting in her lap. It appeared that she had passed away peacefully one night.
The sad part of the whole ordeal is that no one even realized she was living there and no one even noticed or cared that she had died.
After all was said and done, I never rented that unit again. It just never felt right to rent it. I replaced the roll up door with a Plexiglas wall and placed a plaque dedicating this unit to the former owner.
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