Is It Legal to Live in A Storage Unit?

Is It Legal to Live in A Storage Unit?

What would you do if you found yourself suddenly without a place to live due to financial hardship? Some might opt to live with family or close friends, while others might consider renting out storage facilities where they can store their belongings. Although a storage unit may seem appealing at first glance, it’s not recommended nor safe.

Can You Live in a Storage Unit?


Many local and federal housing laws prohibit the use of storage units. To abide by most insurance policies and the law, facilities must remove anyone found living on their premises.

This restriction was put in place for safety. A man tragically lost his life due to a fire that started in a storage unit in 2019. It would also be unsafe for residents to live there permanently.

Another instance occurred when police had to evacuate multiple residents from a storage unit due to health hazards. Furthermore, they stressed that living in an unzoned area for residential use is illegal.

Are People Commonly Living in Storage Units?

After becoming homeless, 007craft was found living in a storage unit. This viral Youtube video garnered attention but is both misleading and problematic; it gives the illusion of luxury living while actually portraying living in an industrial-sized storage unit as anything but glamorous or innovative. We can assure you: this is not the case!

Storage units are more cost-effective than renting an apartment, yet many still prefer them. People who find themselves homeless or in dire need of housing will sometimes try to live temporarily in storage units; though it isn’t common, it may occur if there are no other options.

With Greenbar Secure Storage policies in place, it is less likely you’ll come across someone living inside a unit with secured gates and cameras. Our managers take proactive steps to monitor the facilities 24/7.

Where Can I Get Help?

If you are facing difficult times, we suggest reaching out to the storage facility staff if you don’t know who else to turn. They are familiar with the situation and often have access to local resources like shelters or food banks that can assist you in getting back on your feet again. Let them be your advocate in finding a secure area.

You may use the facility’s storage space to store your belongings while you rebuild. Unfortunately, management won’t let you stay on site; it is illegal.

Why Is It So Unsafe?

Here are a few reasons why living in a storage unit is prohibited.

1. Locks from outside provide security.

Most storage unit doors can be locked from outside by garage-style rollup doors. Many facilities perform multiple walkthroughs during their shift to guarantee all doors are securely shut, protecting renters’ belongings from harm. But if you live in a unit, then being locked inside could make you feel claustrophobic at night and lead to fatalities.

2. Lack of Natural Lighting or Windows.

Natural light is an essential factor for psychological well-being, and living in a storage unit can lead to depression, lethargicness and claustrophobia; children especially may feel the effects of lack of light and space.

3. Storage units do not provide running water.

You have the option to live in a storage facility, but you must either spend your days outside or be discreet and quiet inside as this is against the law. Moreover, with limited options for showering or using the toilet, personal hygiene may suffer which could lead to health issues down the line.

4. Cooking can pose a fire hazard in a storage unit.

Many activities could ignite a fire inside such an establishment; using stoves and grills without adequate ventilation is one common cause of such fires, often started by people living there who live there permanently.

5. Be aware that you will be caught.

This viral Youtube video illustrates the necessity of being invisible while living in a storage facility. Unfortunately, due to advances in technology, this has become an increasingly difficult reality. Many storage units are equipped with security cameras and protocols so it is unlikely someone will hide for long. You could face civil charges if caught and lose both your space and belongings.

This post was written by a professional at Greenbar Storage. Greenbar Storage has a wide range of storage units available in Prineville, Oregon. They offer a variety, including ground-level access, security cameras, 24/7 accessibility, and parking spaces. Locally owned and operated, we are the best choice for convenient and clean self storage Redmond Oregon region. All of our commercial storage clients accept deliveries from businesses.