New Mexico Storage Law

New Mexico Storage Lien Law

ARTICLE 11
Self-Service Storage Liens

48-11-1   Short title.
48-11-2   Definitions.
48-11-3   Rental agreement.
48-11-4   Self-service storage facility; exclusion.
48-11-5   Lien established.
48-11-6   Perfected security interests; payment; possession.
48-11-7   Enforcement of lien.
48-11-8   Notice; posting.
48-11-9   Criminal liability.


48-11-1. Short title. 
This act [48-11-1 to 48-11-9 NMSA 1978] may be cited as the "Self-Service Storage Lien Act".  
  History: Laws 1987, ch. 314, § 1.


48-11-2. Definitions. 
As used in the Self-Service Storage Lien Act:
A.   "default" means the failure to perform in a timely manner any obligation or duty set forth in the Self-Service Storage Lien Act or in the rental agreement;
B.   "electronic mail" means the transmission of information or a communication by the use of a computer or other electronic means sent to a person identified by a unique electronic address;
C.   "last known address" means the postal address or electronic address provided to the owner by the occupant:
(1)   for the purposes of the latest rental agreement; or
(2)   in a written or electronic notice of a change of postal address or electronic address after the latest rental agreement;
D.   "occupant" means a person or the person's sublessee, successor or assign who is entitled to the use of storage space, to the exclusion of others, at a self-service storage facility under a rental agreement;
E.   "owner" means the owner or the owner's heirs, successors or assigns, the operator, the lessor or the sublessor of a self-service storage facility or the lessor's or sublessor's agent or any other person authorized by the lessor or sublessor to manage the facility or to receive rent from an occupant under a rental agreement;
F.   "rental agreement" means any written agreement or lease between the owner and the occupant that establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, rules or any other provisions concerning the use and occupancy of a self-service storage facility;
G.   "self-service storage facility" means any real property designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage space to occupants who are to have access to such facility for the purpose of storing and removing personal property; and
H.   "verified mail" means any method of mailing that is offered by the United States postal service or private delivery service that provides evidence of mailing.
History: Laws 1987, ch. 314, § 2; 2015, ch. 118, § 1.


48-11-3. Rental agreement. 
The rental agreement shall contain a notice stating that all articles stored under the terms of that agreement will be sold or otherwise disposed of under the terms and conditions of the Self-Service Storage Lien Act if the tenant is in default. The agreement shall contain a disclosure provision stating the name and address of any lienholder with an interest in the property that is or will be stored in the self-service storage facility. The agreement shall also contain the address of the tenant.  
  History: Laws 1987, ch. 314, § 3.


48-11-4. Self-service storage facility; exclusion. 
A self-service storage facility is not a warehouse as that term is used in Sections 55-7-209 and 55-7-210 NMSA 1978; nor shall a self-service storage facility be used for residential purposes.  
  History: Laws 1987, ch. 314, § 4.


48-11-5. Lien established. 
When an owner has a lien, it is on all personal property located at the self-service storage facility for rent, labor or other charges in relation to the personal property and for expenses necessary for its preservation or expenses reasonably incurred in its sale or other disposition pursuant to the provisions of the Self-Service Storage Lien Act. The lien attaches as of the date the occupant goes into default and continues as long as the owner retains possession of the personal property and until the default is corrected, or a sale is conducted, or the property is otherwise disposed of to satisfy the lien.  
  History: Laws 1987, ch. 314, § 5.


48-11-6. Perfected security interests; payment; possession. 
Any person who has a perfected security interest under Chapter 55, Article 9 NMSA 1978 may claim any personal property subject to the security interest and subject to a lien arising under the Self-Service Storage Lien Act by paying the total amount due for the storage of the property as specified in the notice to the owner on behalf of the occupant as provided in Section 7 [48-11-7 NMSA 1978] of the Self-Service Storage Lien Act. Upon payment of the total amount due, the owner shall deliver possession of the particular property subject to the security interest to the person who paid the total amount due together with an affidavit setting forth his entitlement to the property. The owner shall not be liable for any action taken pursuant to the provisions of the Self-Service Storage Lien Act if the owner has fully complied with the provisions of [the] act.  
  History: Laws 1987, ch. 314, § 6.


48-11-7. Enforcement of lien. 
A.   An owner's lien, as provided under the Self-Service Storage Lien Act, for a claim that has become due may be satisfied as follows:
(1)   after the occupant has been in default continuously for a period of five days, the owner may deny the occupant access to the occupant's space for storage;
(2)   after the occupant has been in default continuously for a period of thirty days, the owner may enter the space and may remove the personal property within it to a safe place; provided that the owner has sent a notice of intent to enforce a lien, pursuant to Subsection B of this section, to the occupant at the occupant's last known address within five days of entering the space.  The owner shall also give notice to all lienholders listed in the disclosure provision in the rental agreement; and
(3)   no action to sell any property as provided in the Self-Service Storage Lien Act shall be taken by an owner until the occupant has been in default continuously for a period of ninety days.
B.   The notice of intent to enforce a lien shall include:
(1)   an itemized statement of the owner's claim showing the sum due at the time of the notice and the date when the sum became due;
(2)   a brief and general statement of the personal property subject to the lien.  That description shall be reasonably adequate to permit the person notified to identify the property, except that any container, including a trunk, valise or box that is locked, fastened, sealed or tied in a manner which deters immediate access to its contents, may be so described without describing its contents;
(3)   a notification of denial of access to the personal property.  That notification shall provide the name, street address and telephone number of the owner or the owner's designated agent whom the occupant may contact to respond to that notification;
(4)   a demand for payment within a specified time, not less than fifteen days after the delivery of the notice; and
(5)   a conspicuous statement that unless the claim is paid within the time stated in the notice, the personal property will be advertised for sale or other disposition and will be sold or otherwise disposed of to satisfy the owner's lien.
C.   All notices made pursuant to this section shall be by verified mail or electronic mail pursuant to the occupant's option at the time of entering into the current rental agreement.
D.   An owner shall provide written notice by verified mail to the occupant’s last known address or by electronic mail to the occupant’s last known electronic address.  If an owner sends a notice by electronic mail and does not receive a response, return receipt or delivery confirmation from the electronic address to which the notice was sent within three business days after the day on which the notice was sent, the owner shall deliver a one-time notice by verified mail to the occupant’s last known address.
E.   After the expiration of the time given in the notice of intent to enforce a lien, the owner shall publish an advertisement of the sale or other disposition of the property once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the self-service storage facility is located.  The advertisement shall include:
(1)   a brief and general description of the personal property reasonably adequate to permit its identification as provided in Paragraph (2) of Subsection B of this section, the address of the self-service storage facility where the personal property is located and the name and last known address of the occupant; and
(2)   the time, place and manner of the sale or other disposition.  The sale or disposition shall take place not sooner than fifteen days after the first publication.
If there is no newspaper of general circulation in the county where the self-service storage facility is located, the owner shall post the advertisement at least ten days prior to the sale or other disposition in at least six conspicuous places in the neighborhood where the self-service storage facility is located.
F.   Any sale or other disposition of the personal property shall conform to the terms of the notification as provided for in this section.
G.   Any sale or other disposition of the personal property shall be held at the self-service storage facility or at the nearest suitable place within the county to where the personal property is held or stored or may be conducted on a publicly accessible online web site.
H.   Before any sale or other disposition of personal property pursuant to this section is made, the occupant may pay the amount necessary to satisfy the lien and the reasonable expenses incurred under this section and thereby redeem the property.  Upon receipt of the payment, the owner shall return the personal property and thereafter the owner shall have no liability to any person with regard to that personal property.
I.   A good faith purchaser takes the property free of any rights of an unsecured lienholder and free of any rights of a secured lienholder who has received notice by owner as provided in this section.
J.   In the event of a sale under this section, the owner may satisfy the owner's lien from the proceeds of the sale, subject to the rights of any prior lienholder who has not received notice.  The lien rights of such prior lienholder are automatically transferred to the proceeds of the sale.  If the sale was made in good faith and conducted in a reasonable manner, the owner shall not be subject to any surcharge for a deficiency in the amount of a prior secured lien, but shall hold the balance, if any, for delivery to the occupant, lienholder or other person in interest.  If the occupant, lienholder or other person in interest does not claim the balance of the proceeds within two years of the date of sale, it shall become the property of the owner without further recourse by the occupant, lienholder or other person in interest.
K.   Nothing in this section affects the rights and liabilities of the owner, occupant or any other person if there is a willful violation of any of the provisions of the Self-Service Storage Lien Act.  If the property subject to a lien described in this section is a vehicle, watercraft or trailer, the occupant is in default for a continuous sixty-day period and the owner chose not to sell the vehicle, the owner may have the vehicle towed from the self-storage facility by an independent towing carrier that is licensed by the public regulation commission pursuant to the Motor Carrier Act [65-2A-1 through 65-2A-41 NMSA 1978].  Within one day after the day on which a vehicle is towed, the owner shall send verified notice to the occupant's last known address or electronic address that states:
(1)   the date the vehicle was towed; and
(2)   the address and telephone number of the person that towed the vehicle.
History: Laws 1987, ch. 314, § 7; 2015, ch. 118, § 2.


48-11-8. Notice; posting. 
Each owner shall post in a prominent place in his office at all times a notice which reads as follows:  
"All articles stored under a rental agreement, which have incurred unpaid charges for thirty days, will be sold or otherwise disposed of to pay charges at the end of ninety days.".
  History: Laws 1987, ch. 314, § 8.


48-11-9. Criminal liability. 
Any person who willfully fails to disclose any lienholder as required by the disclosure provision of the rental agreement defined in Section 3 [48-11-3 NMSA 1978] of the Self-Service Storage Lien Act is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.  
  History: Laws 1987, ch. 314, § 9.

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