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HB 332: "An Act relating to self-storage facilities for personal property, including vehicles and watercraft; relating to the treatment of firearms, ammunition, and controlled substances found in self-storage units; distinguishing self-storage facility liens from another type of storage lien; and excluding self-storage liens from the treatment of certain unclaimed property."

00                             HOUSE BILL NO. 332                                                                          
01 "An Act relating to self-storage facilities for personal property, including vehicles and                               
02 watercraft; relating to the treatment of firearms, ammunition, and controlled substances                                
03 found in self-storage units; distinguishing self-storage facility liens from another type of                            
04 storage lien; and excluding self-storage liens from the treatment of certain unclaimed                                  
05 property."                                                                                                              
06 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
07    * Section 1. AS 28.11.025 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                           
08            (d)  This section does not apply to a vehicle in a self-storage facility under                               
09       AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695.                                                                                         
10    * Sec. 2. AS 34.35 is amended by adding a new section to article 5 to read:                                        
11            Sec. 34.35.227. Application. AS 34.35.220 and 34.35.225 do not apply to a                                  
12       self-storage facility. In this section, "self-storage facility" has the meaning given in                          
13       AS 34.35.695.                                                                                                     
01    * Sec. 3. AS 34.35 is amended by adding new sections to read:                                                      
02                     Article 13A. Self-Storage Facilities.                                                           
03            Sec. 34.35.600. Self-storage facility liens. A person who owns a self-storage                              
04       facility has a storage lien on the unit property for the failure of the unit renter to                            
05 (1)  perform in a timely manner a duty imposed by a written rental                                                      
06 agreement, including paying the rental charges and reasonable late fees; in this                                        
07 paragraph, a late fee is considered reasonable if it does not exceed the greater of $20                                 
08       or 20 percent of the monthly rental fee; and                                                                      
09                 (2)  pay the expenses reasonably incurred by the facility owner in                                      
10 enforcing the storage lien under AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695, including notice costs,                                      
11 publication costs, advertisement costs, personnel costs, administrative costs, legal                                    
12       costs, and auctioneer costs.                                                                                      
13 Sec. 34.35.605. Priority of storage lien. (a) Notwithstanding AS 28.10.371, if                                        
14 a vehicle is an item of the unit property, a storage lien is superior to a lien or                                      
15       encumbrance established under AS 28.10.371 - 28.10.401.                                                           
16 (b)  A storage lien is superior to a security interest perfected under AS 45.29. A                                      
17       storage lien is superior to another lien or security lien, except a tax lien.                                     
18 Sec. 34.35.610. Attachment of storage lien. A storage lien attaches on the                                            
19 date on which property is placed in a storage unit. A rental agreement must contain a                                   
20 statement in bold type notifying the unit renter of the existence of the storage lien and                               
21 of the method by which the facility owner may enforce the storage lien under                                            
22       AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695.                                                                                         
23 Sec. 34.35.615. Default. A facility owner may enforce a storage lien after a                                          
24       unit renter has been continuously in default for at least 10 days.                                                
25 Sec. 34.35.620. Denial of access; moving unit property. After a default, a                                            
26       facility owner may                                                                                                
27                 (1)  deny the unit renter access to the storage unit; and                                               
28 (2)  move the unit renter's unit property to another place for storage; if                                              
29 the unit property includes a vehicle or watercraft, the facility owner may tow or                                       
30 otherwise remove the vehicle or watercraft from the storage facility, or have the                                       
31       vehicle or watercraft towed or otherwise removed from the storage facility.                                       
01            Sec. 34.35.625. Lien notice. (a) To claim the lien under AS 34.35.600 -                                    
02       34.35.695, after a default, a facility owner shall mail a lien notice to the unit renter.                         
03            (b)  The lien notice must include                                                                            
04                 (1)  an itemized statement of the facility owner's claim that identifies                                
05       the default by the unit renter, the amount due from the unit renter when the facility                             
06       owner provides the lien notice, and the date when the default occurred;                                           
07                 (2)  a statement of how the unit renter can cure the default;                                           
08                 (3)  a demand that the unit renter cure the default before the date stated                              
09       in the lien notice; the date for curing the default must be not less than 21 days after the                       
10       date the facility owner provides the lien notice;                                                                 
11 (4)  a statement that the unit property is subject to the facility owner's                                              
12       lien;                                                                                                             
13 (5)  if the facility owner decides to deny the unit renter access to the                                                
14 storage unit, a statement advising the unit renter that the unit renter may not access the                              
15       storage unit;                                                                                                     
16 (6)  if the facility owner has removed the unit renter's unit property                                                  
17 from the storage unit to another place, a statement advising the unit renter that the                                   
18 facility owner has removed the unit renter's unit property from the storage unit to                                     
19       another place;                                                                                                    
20 (7)  the name, street address, postal address, electronic address, and                                                  
21 telephone number of the facility owner and of any other person the unit renter may                                      
22       contact to respond to the notice;                                                                                 
23 (8)  a conspicuous statement that, unless the unit renter cures the                                                     
24 default within the time stated under (3) of this subsection, the facility owner will                                    
25       dispose of the unit property under AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695;                                                      
26 (9)  a statement that the unit renter may redeem the unit property before                                               
27       disposal by curing the default and paying the amount due;                                                         
28 (10)  if a vehicle is part of the unit property, a statement that the vehicle                                           
29 owner of record or lienholders of record may pay the amount due and take possession                                     
30       of the vehicle; and                                                                                               
31 (11)  if the facility owner discovers that the unit property contains                                                   
01 restricted property, a statement that the facility owner will notify a law enforcement                                  
02 agency about the restricted property and the law enforcement agency will take                                           
03       possession of the restricted property.                                                                            
04 Sec. 34.35.630. Authority to dispose of unit property. If a unit renter does                                          
05 not cure a default and pay the amount due by the deadline stated in the lien notice, the                                
06       facility owner may dispose of the unit property under AS 34.35.635 and 34.35.640.                                 
07 Sec. 34.35.635. Disposal publication, advertising, and notices. (a) If the unit                                       
08 renter does not cure the default and pay the amount due by the deadline stated in the                                   
09 lien notice, and if the facility owner determines that it is commercially viable to                                     
10 dispose of all or part of the unit property by public sale, the facility owner shall                                    
11       proceed under (c) of this section.                                                                                
12 (b)  If the unit renter does not cure the default and pay the amount due by the                                         
13 deadline stated in the lien notice, and if the facility owner determines that it is not                                 
14 commercially viable to dispose of all or part of the unit property by public sale, the                                  
15 facility owner may privately sell, give away, donate, or throw away the unit property                                   
16       that is not commercially viable to dispose of by public sale.                                                     
17 (c)  Before disposing of unit property under (a) of this section, a facility owner                                      
18       shall                                                                                                             
19 (1)  publish a notice of sale one time before the date of the sale in a                                                 
20 newspaper of general circulation in the judicial district in which the storage facility is                              
21 located, or advertise the sale one time a week for two weeks in a commercially                                          
22 reasonable manner that is likely to attract at least three bidders to the sale who are not                              
23       related to the facility owner or to each other; and                                                               
24 (2)  if the unit property is a vehicle and the facility owner can                                                       
25 determine the name and address of the vehicle owner and any lienholder, mail notice                                     
26 of the disposal of the vehicle to the vehicle owner and to the lienholders, if any, listed                              
27       on the vehicle title, at the address or addresses listed on the vehicle title.                                    
28 (d)  The publication, advertisement, and notice under (c) of this section must                                          
29       include                                                                                                           
30 (1)  a statement that the facility owner will sell the unit property to                                                 
31       satisfy the facility owner's lien;                                                                                
01                 (2)  the address of the storage facility, the number or other designation,                              
02       if any, of the place where the unit property is located, and the name of the unit renter;                         
03                 (3)  the manner of the sale;                                                                            
04                 (4)  the day, time, and location of the sale;                                                           
05                 (5)  the name, address, and contact telephone number of the facility                                    
06       owner; and                                                                                                        
07                 (6)  if applicable, a description of the vehicle, including the vehicle                                 
08       identification number and, if available, the vehicle registration plate number.                                   
09            (e)  In this section, "unit property" does not include restricted property subject                           
10       to AS 34.35.690.                                                                                                  
11 Sec. 34.35.640. Sale of unit property. (a) A facility owner shall hold a sale of                                      
12       unit property                                                                                                     
13 (1)  at the storage facility or, if the storage facility is not a suitable                                              
14 place for the sale, at a suitable location that is the nearest suitable location to where the                           
15       unit property is being held or stored; or                                                                         
16                 (2)  on a publicly accessible Internet website.                                                         
17 (b)  The facility owner shall hold the sale under (a) of this section not less than                                     
18       21 days after the publication or advertisement under AS 34.35.635(c)(1).                                          
19 (c)  If, after the publication or advertisement under AS 34.35.635(c)(1) and                                            
20 notice under AS 34.35.635(c)(2), the facility owner does not or is not able to sell the                                 
21 unit property, the facility owner shall mail a notice to the unit renter of how the facility                            
22       owner will dispose of the unit property.                                                                          
23 (d)  In this section, "unit property" does not include restricted property subject                                      
24       to AS 34.35.690.                                                                                                  
25 Sec. 34.35.645. Redemption by unit renter, vehicle owner, or vehicle                                                  
26 lienholder. (a) Before a disposal of unit property takes place under AS 34.35.635 and                                 
27 34.35.640, and except as provided in AS 34.35.690, the unit renter may redeem the                                       
28 unit property by paying the amount due. If the unit renter redeems the unit property,                                   
29       the facility owner shall immediately return the unit property to the unit renter.                                 
30 (b)  If the vehicle owner of record and the lienholders, if any, listed on the                                          
31 vehicle title pay the amount due before the facility owner disposes of the vehicle under                                
01 AS 34.35.635 and 34.35.640, the facility owner shall transfer possession of the vehicle                                 
02 to the vehicle owner or lienholder who pays the amount due. If the unit renter stored                                   
03 the vehicle with other unit property in the storage unit, the vehicle owner or lienholder                               
04 is only required to pay that part of the amount due that is proportionate to the storage                                
05       area occupied by the vehicle.                                                                                     
06 (c)  If the facility owner returns the unit property under (a) or (b) of this                                           
07 section, the facility owner does not have any further liability with respect to the unit                                
08       property.                                                                                                         
09 Sec. 34.35.650. Good faith purchasers. A person who purchases unit property                                           
10 in good faith and without notice of a noncompliance with AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695 at                                    
11 a disposal under AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695 takes the unit property free of any rights of                                 
12 the unit renter, the facility owner, and any lienholders, even if the facility owner has                                
13       not complied with AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695.                                                                       
14 Sec. 34.35.655. Vehicle title. If a vehicle is sold at a public sale under                                            
15 AS 34.35.640 and is titled under AS 28.10, the Department of Administration shall                                       
16 transfer title to the vehicle to the purchaser who purchased the vehicle and who                                        
17       requests the transfer.                                                                                            
18 Sec. 34.35.660. Proceeds of disposal. (a) A facility owner shall satisfy the                                          
19 amount due on the storage lien from the proceeds of a sale under AS 34.35.635 -                                         
20       34.35.695.                                                                                                        
21 (b)  The facility owner shall apply the disposal proceeds, in the following                                             
22       order, to                                                                                                         
23 (1)  the payment of the cost of the auctioneer if an auctioneer conducted                                               
24       the sale;                                                                                                         
25                 (2)  the amount due from the unit renter, including all late fees;                                      
26 (3)  payment of the liens of secured lienholders of the unit property that                                              
27       was a vehicle; and                                                                                                
28 (4)  payment of the liens of secured lienholders of the unit property that                                              
29       was not a vehicle.                                                                                                
30 (c)  If the disposal proceeds are not sufficient to pay secured lienholders                                             
31 completely, the facility owner is not liable for the unpaid balance, including late fees,                               
01       owed to the secured lienholders.                                                                                  
02 (d)  If disposal proceeds remain after application of (b) of this section, the                                          
03 facility owner shall mail a notice to the unit renter that there are excess disposal                                    
04 proceeds. The facility owner shall hold the excess disposal proceeds for one year after                                 
05 the date of the sale, and the unit renter may claim the excess sale proceeds within the                                 
06 one-year period. If the unit renter does not claim the excess proceeds within the one-                                  
07       year period, the excess sale proceeds belong to the facility owner.                                               
08            (e)  In the notice under (d) of this section, the facility owner shall state that                            
09       there are excess disposal proceeds from the sale, that the facility owner will hold the                           
10 excess disposal proceeds for one year from the date the facility owner sends the notice,                                
11 that the unit renter may claim the excess sale proceeds within the one-year period, and                                 
12 that if the unit renter does not claim the excess sale proceeds within the one-year                                     
13       period, the excess sale proceeds belong to the facility owner.                                                    
14 Sec. 34.35.665. Limit on value of property stored. If a rental agreement                                              
15 specifies a limit on the value of property that a unit renter may store in the storage                                  
16 unit, the limit specified in the rental agreement is considered to be the maximum value                                 
17       of the unit renter's unit property stored in the rented unit.                                                     
18 Sec. 34.35.670. Mailing requirements. (a) When a facility owner is required                                           
19       to mail a notice under AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695, the facility owner shall                                         
20 (1)  call the unit renter and mail the notice to the unit renter's postal                                               
21       address and electronic mail address provided to the facility owner by the unit renter in                          
22                      (A)  the latest rental agreement; or                                                               
23 (B)  a written notice of a change of mailing address or                                                                 
24            electronic mail address provided after the latest rental agreement; and                                      
25                 (2)  for mailing to a postal address, use a                                                             
26 (A)  method of mailing that is offered by the United States                                                             
27            Postal Service and provides evidence of mailing; or                                                          
28                      (B)  private delivery service.                                                                     
29 (b)  In this section, "electronic mail" means the transmission of information by                                        
30       use of a computer or through other electronic means.                                                              
31 Sec. 34.35.675. Release of lien. (a) Notwithstanding AS 34.35.900(a), if a unit                                       
01 renter requests in writing that a facility owner deliver to the unit renter an                                          
02 acknowledgment of satisfaction suitable for recording when a lien under AS 34.35.600                                    
03 - 34.35.695 is satisfied by payment of the amount owed, the facility owner shall                                        
04 deliver the acknowledgment of satisfaction to the unit renter not later than 15 days                                    
05       after the request.                                                                                                
06 (b)  If a facility owner fails, without just cause, for a period of 30 days after                                       
07 receiving the written request under (a) of this section to execute and deliver to the unit                              
08 renter an acknowledgment of satisfaction as required under (a) of this section, the                                     
09 facility owner is liable to the unit renter for the damages suffered by the unit renter                                 
10       because of the failure.                                                                                           
11 Sec. 34.35.680. Records. The facility owner shall keep for one year from the                                          
12 date of the lien notice under AS 34.35.625 a written record of when and how the                                         
13 facility owner disposed of the unit property. The facility owner shall allow the former                                 
14       unit renter to review the record on request.                                                                      
15 Sec. 34.35.685. Exemption. The provisions of AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695 do                                              
16       not apply to real property that is designed only for parking a vehicle.                                           
17 Sec. 34.35.690. Restricted property. (a) After a default by a unit renter and                                         
18 access by the facility owner to the storage unit, if a facility owner discovers that the                                
19 unit property of the defaulting unit renter includes restricted property, the facility                                  
20 owner shall notify a law enforcement agency about the restricted property, and the law                                  
21       enforcement agency shall take possession of the restricted property.                                              
22 (b)  If a facility owner discovers the restricted property after the facility owner                                     
23 mails the lien notice under AS 34.35.625, the facility owner shall make the                                             
24 notification and transfer of restricted property under (a) of this section and then mail a                              
25 notice to the unit renter stating that the facility owner has notified a law enforcement                                
26 agency about the restricted property and that the law enforcement agency has taken                                      
27 possession of the restricted property. If the restricted property includes a firearm or                                 
28       ammunition, the notice must also                                                                                  
29 (1)  include a statement that the unit renter has one year from the date                                                
30 the law enforcement agency takes possession of the firearm or ammunition to file a                                      
31 claim with the law enforcement agency to obtain the return of the firearm or                                            
01       ammunition;                                                                                                       
02                 (2)  provide the date that the law enforcement agency took possession                                   
03       of the firearm or ammunition; and                                                                                 
04                 (3)  provide the name and address of the law enforcement agency that                                    
05       has possession of the firearm or ammunition.                                                                      
06 (c)  Within one year after the law enforcement agency takes possession of a                                             
07 firearm or ammunition under (a) of this section, a unit renter may file a claim for the                                 
08 item with the law enforcement agency, and, notwithstanding AS 18.65.340, the law                                        
09 enforcement agency shall return the item to the unit renter unless the unit renter's                                    
10 possession would violate a state or federal law that regulates the possession of the                                    
11 item. If the unit renter fails to file a claim for the firearm or the ammunition within one                             
12 year from the date the law enforcement agency takes possession of the firearm or                                        
13 ammunition, the law enforcement agency shall dispose of the firearm or ammunition                                       
14       as a surplus firearm as provided in AS 18.65.340.                                                                 
15 (d)  A facility owner who gives notice and transfers restricted property under                                          
16       this section is not liable to the unit renter or to the owner of the restricted property for                      
17                 (1)  the value of the restricted property; or                                                           
18 (2)  damages suffered by the unit renter or property owner as a result of                                               
19       the notice and transfer.                                                                                          
20 Sec. 34.35.693. Additional rights and obligations. The provisions of                                                  
21 AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695 do not prevent a rental agreement from containing other                                        
22 rights, duties, and obligations that do not conflict with or arise from AS 34.35.600 -                                  
23 34.35.695. The rights provided to a facility owner by AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695 are in                                   
24       addition to other rights provided by law to a creditor against a debtor.                                          
25            Sec. 34.35.695. Definitions. In AS 34.35.600 - 34.35.695,                                                  
26 (1)  "amount due" means the amount of the storage lien calculated                                                       
27       under AS 34.35.600;                                                                                               
28                 (2)  "default" means a default under AS 34.35.615;                                                      
29                 (3)  "facility owner" means                                                                             
30 (A)  the owner, operator, lessor, or sublessor of a self-storage                                                        
31            facility;                                                                                                    
01                      (B)  the agent of a person described in (A) of this paragraph; or                                  
02                      (C)  a person authorized by a person described in (A) of this                                      
03            paragraph to manage a self-storage facility or to receive rent from a unit renter                            
04            under a rental agreement;                                                                                    
05                 (4)  "law enforcement agency" has the meaning given in AS 12.36.090;                                  
06                 (5)  "lien notice" means the notice sent by a facility owner to a unit                                  
07       renter under AS 34.35.625;                                                                                        
08                 (6)  "rental agreement" means a written agreement that establishes or                                   
09       modifies the terms under which a person may store unit property in a storage unit;                                
10 (7)  "restricted property" means a firearm, ammunition for a firearm, or                                                
11       a controlled substance; in this paragraph,                                                                        
12 (A)  "controlled substance" has the meaning given in                                                                    
13            AS 11.71.900;                                                                                                
14                      (B)  "firearm" has the meaning given in AS 11.81.900(b);                                           
15 (8)  "self-storage facility" means real property that is designed for and                                               
16       used as a rental space where a person may directly store and retrieve property;                                   
17                 (9)  "storage lien" means the lien authorized under AS 34.35.600;                                       
18 (10)  "storage unit" means the individual storage space at a self-storage                                               
19       facility that is rented to a person under a rental agreement;                                                     
20 (11)  "unit property" means the property, including goods, wares,                                                       
21 merchandise, household items, vehicles, watercraft, and other items, stored in a                                        
22       storage unit;                                                                                                     
23 (12)  "unit renter" means a person who is entitled to the use of a rented                                               
24 space in a self-storage facility under a rental agreement, or the sublessee, successor, or                              
25       assignee of a facility owner;                                                                                     
26                 (13)  "vehicle" has the meaning given in AS 28.90.990;                                                  
27 (14)  "watercraft" means a boat required to be registered under                                                         
28       AS 05.25.055.                                                                                                   
29    * Sec. 4. AS 34.45 is amended by adding a new section to article 1 to read:                                        
30 Sec. 34.45.095. Application. AS 34.45.010 - 34.45.085 do not apply to a self-                                         
31 storage facility. In this section, "self-storage facility" has the meaning given in                                     
01       AS 34.35.695.