The national SSA has many resources and webinars available focused on COVID-19 and our industry. Click here to access news about COVID-19 and self storage. Invitations to register for the webinars are being sent to state and national members, specifically, the primary contact's email address.
For the latest information from New Mexico on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the governor’s office website and your state’s department of health here. Be sure to carefully monitor the situation and check on updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov, regulatory agencies as well as local health officials.
Please also read the letter from Tim Dietz, SSA President and CEO, that provides resources and information related to states of emergency and pricing restrictions here.
03/30/2020 - New Leave Law to Impact Storage Industry, Effective April 1
As reported last week, the new federal leave law takes effect on April 1. Employers must provide notice to their employees immediately if they have not done so already. The notice can be found here.
SSA’s updated FAQs can be found here. The updated FAQs answer questions on issues such as the posting requirements for the notice and the limited exemption available to employers with fewer than 50 employees.
The Department of Labor’s complete FAQs can be found here.
Employers are strongly encouraged to discuss the new law with their legal counsel. Please email Joe Doherty, email@example.com, with any questions.
03/28/2020 - By this time, you have probably heard of the New Mexico order requiring all non-essential businesses to close. We have heard from a few members that state police have shut down their self storage businesses or threatened to do so.
We believe that the order allows self storage businesses to continue to operate, and any effort to shut down self storage businesses is inconsistent with the order. Our New Mexico lobbyist is working with the Administration to expressly include self storage as an essential business. We will update members as soon as we have more information.
In the meantime, we have prepared this sample letter explaining why self storage is an essential business, consistent with the Governor’s order. We encourage you to put this letter on your company letterhead and provide copies to all employees to have at your facilities and while traveling to work.
Even with the letter, state police may persist with their efforts to shut down businesses. We hope to have clarity from the Administration as soon as this week. Please email Joe Doherty with any questions.
Changes to the International Building Code Affect Self Storage - March 2019
With the support of its Code Committee, the Self Storage Association successfully pursued several key changes to the 2021 International Building Code.
- An exception has been added to IBC Section 2902.3.3 to permit an increase in the location (to greater than every other floor) and maximum distance of travel (to greater than 500 ft) for restrooms. The location and travel distance must be approved by the code official.
- The maximum allowable height of sprinklered facilities made of Type IIB materials (unprotected steel) and Type IIIB materials (noncombustible or fire-retardant-treated wood stud exterior walls and any interior construction) has been increased from 3 stories to 4 stories. The Code continues to have total floor and building square footage limits.
- Pursuant to modified IBC Section 903.2.9, storage facilities are exempt from the automatic sprinkler system requirement if: (1) the total fire area is 12,000 sq. ft. or less; (2) the combined total fire areas are 24,000 sq. ft. or less; (3) the facility is no greater than one story above grade plane; and (4) all storage spaces are accessed directly from the exterior.
These changes go into effect as they are adopted by local and state governments over the next several years. Prior to the adoption on the local and state level, storage developers can request that the code official rely on the 2021 changes as acceptable alternative methods of construction pursuant to section 104.11 of the existing International Building Code.
Please email Joe Doherty with any questions or to receive supporting documentation for these changes.
Limited Lines Insurance; Continued Advocacy - May 2019
The New Mexico Legislature passed a self-storage tenant insurance limited-lines license bill in 2017, but the measure was never signed by then Gov. Susana Martinez, and became a pocket veto. SB 378 allows operators to sell tenant insurance under an individual policy as well as commercial, corporate, group or master policies.
To obtain a license, operators must provide the insurance superintendent with a complete list of facilities where policies will be offered, along with a list of employees authorized to sell them. The list must be updated annually, kept for three years and made available to the superintendent upon request. Insurers must also maintain a registry of self-storage locations authorized to sell its policies and make it available to the superintendent upon request, according to the bill.
SB 378 prohibits self-storage employees from receiving commissions for selling tenant insurance based on the number of policies sold, unless the compensation would be considered “incidental” to “overall compensation.” Authorizing insurers must oversee the administration of an operator’s insurance program and provide training to authorized employees who’ll be selling policies to tenants.
The new law goes into effect on July 1
SSA and NM-SSA continue to monitor the state’s efforts to collect gross receipt taxes on the cost of uncovered, outdoor storage. We plan to work with the state Tax and Revenue Department and, if necessary, the legislature to provide greater clarity and uniformity for storage operators.
We have a history of success in enacting positive change for our members. In the past, we have expanded upon the notification options available to facility operators while also updating vehicle lien laws, saving New Mexico self storage business owners unnecessary expenses. Please contact us if you have any questions.