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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 4: Enforcement of operator's lien

Section 4. After default, an operator's lien may be enforced by selling the property stored in the leased space at a public or private sale, but only in accordance with the following procedure:

(1) No sooner than five days after such default, the occupant and all other persons known to claim an interest in the goods shall be notified by regular mail or electronic mail sent to the last known address of any person to be notified.

(2) No sooner than 14 days after default, the occupant and all other persons known to claim an interest in the personal property shall be notified by electronic mail or verified mail, sent to the last known address of any person to be notified, or by hand delivery of said notification. If the operator sends notice of a pending sale of property to the occupant's last known electronic mail address and does not receive a response, return receipt or delivery confirmation from the same electronic mail address, then the operator shall send notice of the sale to the occupant by verified mail to the occupant's last known postal address before proceeding with the sale.

(3) The notification shall include: (a) a statement that the contents of the occupant's leased space are subject to the operator's lien; (b) a general description of the contents, if known, by the operator; (c) a statement of the operator's claim, indicating the charges due on the date of the notice, the amount of any additional charges which shall become due before the date of sale, and the date such additional charges shall become due; (d) a demand for payment of the charges due within a specified time, not less than fourteen days after receipt of notification; (e) a statement that unless the claim is paid within the time stated, the contents of the occupant's space will be advertised for sale and sold at auction at a specified time and place; and (f) the name, street address, and telephone number of the operator, or his designated agent, whom the occupant may contact to respond to the notice.

(4) After the expiration of the time given in the notification, an advertisement of the sale shall be published once per week for 2 consecutive weeks (i) in a newspaper of general circulation, (ii) in a periodical that circulates weekly or more frequently in the county where the self-service storage facility is located (iii) or by advertising the sale in any other commercially reasonable manner; provided, however, that the manner of advertisement shall be deemed commercially reasonable if at least 3 independent bidders attend the sale at the time and place advertised. The advertisement shall include a description of the property, if known, the name of the person on whose account the property is being held and the time and place of the sale. The sale shall take place at least 15 days after the first publication or public posting of the advertisement in a commercially reasonable manner.

(5) Before any sale pursuant to this section any person claiming a right in the property may pay the amount necessary to satisfy the lien and the reasonable expenses incurred under this section. In such event, the property must not be sold, but must be released to the payor.

(6) The operator may buy at any public sale pursuant to this section.

(7) The sale shall be at the self-service storage facility where the personal property is stored or at the nearest suitable place or on a publicly accessible website.

(8) The sale must conform to the terms of the notification.

(9) A purchaser in good faith of goods sold to enforce an operator's lien takes the property free of any rights of persons against whom the lien was valid, despite noncompliance by the operator with the requirements of this section.

(10) The operator may satisfy his lien from the proceeds of any sale pursuant to this section but must hold the balance, if any, for release on demand to the occupant or to any person to whom he would have been bound to release the property.

(11) The rights provided by this section shall be in addition to all other rights allowed by law to a creditor against his debtor.

(12) The operator shall be liable for damages caused by failure to comply with the requirements for sale under this section and in case of willful violation shall be liable for conversion.

(13) If the personal property upon which the lien is claimed is a vehicle and rent and other charges related to the property remain unpaid or unsatisfied for 60 days following the maturity of the obligation to pay rent, then the holder of the lien may have the vehicle towed by an insured tower. If the vehicle is towed pursuant to this clause, the holder of the lien shall not be liable for the vehicle or any damages to the vehicle once the tower takes possession of the vehicle. The tower shall comply with section 39A of chapter 255.