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.