The evictions are driven by a second wave of storage-rentals, as middle class people lose their homes or evacuate NYC and go shopping for storage space; self-storage owners want their nonpaying customers out so they can grab some of this business.
The storage eviction process has some formal requirements that make it hard for the company owners to just throw people's stuff out or auction it off, so they're offering deals to their tenants-in-arrears, like waiving some back rent in exchange for immediate departure.
Though the law puts limits on throwing away or auctioning off lockers, there's little regulation otherwise: locker companies are free to hike rents, levy late-payment surchages, etc, almost without limit.
If you are or know someone facing a locker eviction, try Legal Aid’s Access to Benefits Helpline (888-663-6880), or visit your borough's Human Resources Administration to apply for an emergency storage grant.
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