Homeowners and renters have even more convenient and affordable options for storage of their possessions, thanks to Neighbor.com, a 3-year old startup. Neighbor is an online marketplace that allows you to locate and rent storage space offered by nearby neighbors. They aptly like to refer to themselves as the “Airbnb of Storage”.
Simply put, Neighbor matches storage renters, who have goods to store, with homeowners or “hosts”, who have spaces to rent. The process is easy to navigate to help you find exactly what you need using the Neighbor website or app.
Creative Self-Storage Solutions to Consider
Like traditional self-storage facilities, consumers can use Neighbor locations for extended periods of time. However, unlike traditional self-storage businesses, Neighbor’s diverse collection of hosts and offerings opens up a wide range of flexible storage opportunities of which many consumers may not be aware.
If you need space of any kind for a wide range of permitted items (from boxes to recreational vehicles), we highly recommend checking Neighbor locations in your community. You may be pleasantly surprised by both the offerings and pricing.
We have highlighted a few examples of creative self-storage solutions that are likely in your neighborhood.
Large & Extended Home Renovations
Looking to tackle that long awaited renovation but haven’t cleaned up your space? Neighbor has you covered for storage of your personal items throughout the duration of the project. There are no restrictions on the minimum or maximum amount of time to which a renter and host must agree. Nearby storage can be used not only to clear out additional space for a project, but to store supplies securely. However, keep in mind, that for any storage space, you will need to confirm your access privileges (e.g. hours, frequency, etc.). For storing project supplies, a secure outdoor storage unit with self-access would be ideal.
A major life-style issue in any urban area is having inadequate parking for residents and their guests. By renting out a space that may otherwise be empty, you can save hundreds for yourself or your overnight and vacationing guests. In some instances, larger condominiums are deeded two parking spaces, yet the owners may only have one car. This is a perfect opportunity to rent in your building or in a neighboring building for far less than what a professional parking facility would charge either by the day, week, month or year.
Another parking scenario to keep in mind is finding parking spots that are solely used during standard business hours and are available overnight and on weekends.
Summer Vacationing College Students
Before the start of summer break, marking the end of the academic year, college students move out of dormitory rooms having to pack up their belongings. Who wants to bring the furniture, books, winter clothing and everything else that’s acquired during the semester all the way back home?
Using Neighbor, you can easily find just the right storage space (either indoor or outdoor), for the right price, within driving or even walking distance. Your goods are safe and secure (traditional storage facilities have a high burglary rate), clean (chances are you are renting a room, attic or clean space in someone’s private home), and affordable (on average Neighbor offers up to 50% off the cost for the same square footage).
Home-Based Businesses Needing Storage for Inventory
Friends in Los Angeles just started an online business from their 1,500 square foot home. When the inventory started to arrive, they realized that their tiny space was not going to accommodate their business needs.
Enter Neighbor to save the day, as they were able to rent the garage next door for half what they would have paid for a warehouse some distance away. The storage space is clean and safe, terms are flexible and most importantly the distance from their own home is one door away, making it the most convenient solution for their current needs.
Downsizing One’s Living Space
If your living situation has suddenly changed and you need to downsize your living space, renting from a traditional self-storage facility is no longer your only option. Why put so much space between you and your belongings? Neighbor.com allows you to find storage options that suit your needs in terms of cost, space and location. Being closer to your belongings can also be convenient, as you determine what to do with your belongings that you no longer need.
Recreational vehicle storage may be difficult to come by in some areas especially for extended periods. With Neighbor.com all you need to do in enter your zip code to see the storage spaces available within your area, to browse the various locations available for cars, boats, snowmobiles, motorized home, etc. Your vehicle can be stored in either a fully equipped indoor garage or a secured outdoor space, depending on your preferences and price point.
Benefits for Renters of Residential Self-Storage Spaces
Residential locations that offer self-storage spaces are beneficial to renters because they are:
- Your storage space can be within walking distance, as opposed to driving distance
- On average, storage spaces offered on Neighbor are approximately 50% lower than rates for comparable spaces available at traditional storage facilities
- Neighbor.com is enabling a more diverse set of self-storage offerings in terms of: location; storage type; storage size; pricing; contract terms; accessibility; and timing
- Neighbor.com states that burglary rates at traditional storage facilities are comparably high, as these locations are often targeted by professional thieves. With residential storage spaces, homeowners are highly motivated to use reliable security technology and to adhere to safety programs that protect both their possessions, and that of their renters.
Neighbor.com Rates vs. Traditional Self-Storage Rates
To sustain their reputation of being affordable, Neighbor encourages hosts to price their offerings competitively, which equates to being close to 50% lower than traditional storage offerings. Here are industry averages Neighbor has posted on their website:
How to Rent Storage Space on Neighbor.com
The first step is to browse your local area for available storage spaces. If there are a large number of listings in your community, you can filter the results by Storage Type, Size and Price. Once you find a space you are interested in renting, you have to create an account to reserve the listing. We recommend creating an account upfront, in case you wish to message a host about their space prior to requesting a reservation.
When requesting to reserve a space, you need to specify the following to the host:
- What do you plan to store?
- How long will you need the space?
- How often you will need access to the space?
Though credit card information is required to reserve a space, the card will not be charged until the host approves your request. Additionally, you can get a 100% refund for both the first rent payment and service fee, if either of these time constraints are met:
- You cancel within 24 hours of your approval, or
- You cancel up to 4 days prior to the start of the contract
Once a rental contract is started, the renter has full control to cancel the contract when desired, while adhering to standard prorated cancellation fees, if applicable.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What is not allowed in storage?
It is the responsibility of the renter to ensure that their items in storage will not cause any harm to the space or to the host. Restricted items include, but are not limited to: firearms; toxins; drugs; explosives; hazardous or flammable materials; pesticides; waste; ammunition; controlled substances; stolen goods; and perishable food items.
When placing a reservation, renters are required to disclose the items that they will be storing. Hosts may also specify other restricted items for their space. For additional questions regarding restricted items, please see Neighbor’s Terms of Service.
Can I message the host before reserving the space?
Yes, however, Neighbor recommends reserving the storage space first, to ensure you get the space you want when you need it. Whether you reserve the space or not, you can use the Neighbor Inbox to safely and securely send a message to the host to clarify any questions you may have.
How does Neighbor protect me as a renter?
Neighbor protects renters in a variety of different ways to make sure that their stored items are kept safe: $25,000 Renter Protection Guarantee; carefully screened hosts, including ID verification checks; ability to message hosts prior to renting to ensure a good mutual fit; a Terms of Service that holds hosts liable for negligent behavior; and a payment schedule that incentivizes hosts to take care of your belongings the entire term of the contract.
When are renters allowed to move their items into the storage space?
Renters can move their items into their new location beginning on the start date.
When and how often can renters access their things?
Hosts set the level of access and time slots when renters can access the space, for each listing. These levels of access include: 24/7 Access; Business Hours; and Upon Request.
Hosts and renters are expected to set expectations and agree upon the frequency at which renters are allowed to access their possessions. Renters and hosts are also expected to be flexible and considerate as they discuss these issues before and during the rental.
What is Neighbor’s cancellation policy for renters?
It is the responsibility of the renter, not the host, to cancel a reservation once the renter has removed their items from the storage space. Renters must visit their My Rentals page to cancel their reservation and all future payments will be stopped effective immediately. Renters are not eligible for a refund nor a prorated amount if they store for less than the contracted rental period.
What is Neighbor’s refund policy for renters?
If a renter cancels more than 3 days before their reservation begins, they will receive a full refund. All renters who cancel within 3 days of reservation start will be returned 80% of the listing cost (not including Neighbor’s Service Fee). Renters that cancel a reservation after a rental period starts will receive no refund.
Does Neighbor have a loyalty or referral program?
Yes, Neighbor has a referral program that allows hosts and renters to invite friends and family to find storage or list their unused space. When an invitation is fulfilled and verified, both parties receive $50. An invitation is fulfilled and verified when either: 1) they rent a storage space; or 2) they list and receive a reservation for their storage space.
How and when can I contact Neighbor for customer support?
Hosts can contact customer support using one of the four methods: chat (blue icon in the bottom right corner); email (email@example.com); text (801-653-0264); or voice (801-653-0264). Neighbor’s regular business hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00AM to 6:00PM MST. Emails are monitored outside of regular support hours for time-sensitive issues.
What if the Host needs to use the space that I am renting?
If the host needs you to vacate the rented space, Neighbor recommends that the host works this out with you, the renter, and allow you to cancel the reservation yourself. The host is required to provide 4 weeks advance notice (except in the case of a renter violating the Terms of Service).