Monday, April 12, 2021
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We have compiled the latest news and resources related to the self storage industry in your state.


The national SSA has many resources and webinars available focused on COVID-19 and our industry.  Click here to access news about COVID-19 and self storage.  Invitations to register for the webinars are being sent to state and national members, specifically, the primary contact's email address.

For the latest information from Virginia on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the governor’s office website and your state’s department of health here. Be sure to carefully monitor the situation and check on updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regulatory agencies as well as local health officials.

Please also read the letter from Tim Dietz, SSA President and CEO, that provides resources and information related to states of emergency and pricing restrictions here


February 23, 2021

Occupational Safety and Health Final Standard Now Applicable to Virginia Storage Operators

The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program issued its final standard for emergency disease prevention for COVID-19. Minimum requirements apply to virtually all private employers in the Commonwealth of Virginia, including self storage operators. The final standard is very similar to the temporary, emergency standard issued during the summer of 2020 and requires employers to take certain measures to safeguard employees against COVID-19. Items addressed in the final standard include:

•           Classifying Employee’s Job Tasks;

•           Mandatory Requirements for All Employers;

•           Returning to Work After a Case;

•           Access to Common Areas;

•           Sanitation and Disinfecting; and,

•           Additional Requirements for Certain Employers.


VASSA Member Only Memo.  Not a VASSA member? Click HERE to join for access to the legal library. 

Members, click here to review a memo outlining and analyzing the provisions outlined above as well as to review the full text of the final standard.


September 23, 2020

Proper Classification of Workers as Employees or Independent Contractors

Businesses engage workers to perform a variety of tasks on their behalf. Some individuals are appropriately labeled as “employees” (who typically receive a W-2) and some “independent contractors” (who typically receive a 1099). For example, the accountant retained to prepare a business’ tax return each year is most likely an independent contractor. Other individuals are not as easily classified. The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have factors (explored in more depth below) that should be applied and analyzed to ensure a proper designation is made.

VASSA Member Only Memo.  Not a VASSA member? Click HERE to join for access to the legal library. 

Members, click here to review a memo outlining proper classification and what owners-operators need to know.



August 6, 2020

Disaster Readiness Resources

As a VASSA member you have access to a large library of information, resources and legal help related to preparing and navigating through disasters.

Click here to access the complete library on the national SSA website. Topics include:


  • Price Gouging Laws
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Water and Humidity
  • Insurance
  • Legal Help, Self Storage Legal Network , Affiliate Plan
  • Communication Plan and More!


Click here for your state’s emergency management agency.

Click here for the complete communication that was sent to members. 


April 20, 2020 

Sample Virginia Work Authorization Letter Available

Governor Ralph Northam has instructed all individuals in Virginia to remain at home, except for limited permissible activities, including traveling to and working at certain businesses such as self storage facilities. 

The Governor’s orders specifically instruct certain types of businesses such as concert venues, fitness centers, and bowling alleys to close. It also explicitly designates certain types of retail businesses as essential. Self storage is not directed to close by any of the Governor’s orders. Click HERE for a sample Virginia work authorization letter.


April 1, 2020

New Leave Law to Impact Storage Industry, Effective April 1

As reported last week, the new federal leave law takes effect on April 1. Employers must provide notice to their employees immediately if they have not done so already. The notice can be found here

SSA’s updated FAQs can be found here. The updated FAQs answer questions on issues such as the posting requirements for the notice and the limited exemption available to employers with fewer than 50 employees. 

The Department of Labor’s complete FAQs can be found here

Employers are strongly encouraged to discuss the new law with their legal counsel. Please email Joe Doherty,, with any questions.


Legislative Efforts and News

The Virginia Self Storage Association, together with the national Self Storage Association, has been successful in enacting its legislative agenda. Awareness remains an important posture as changes to current law, new regulations or other disruptive policy issues could be lurking.

Virginia Self Storage Lien Act Numbering Changed - Effective October 1, 2019 - Click here for the Act with new numbers. 


Effective October 1, 2019, the Virginia Self Storage Lien Act has been re-numbered.

No language has been changed, just the numbering system. 

Please update your rental agreement, other operational and legal documents related to the lien act.  

Questions? Contact Daniel Bryant, Legal & Legislative Counsel at the national Self Storage Association,


Virginia Legislative Update - April 2019

Governor Northam signed a bill that expressly allows storage operators to conduct lien sales online.


Changes to the International Building Code Affect Self Storage - April 2019

With the support of its Code Committee, the Self Storage Association successfully pursued several key changes to the 2021 International Building Code. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.


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