Safe Deposit Box: Why and When You Need It

If you've inherited family heirlooms from your grandmother, you could, of course, hide them under the upholstery of walnut chairs. But today, there is a much more reliable way to store gold and diamonds — a safe deposit box. We'll tell you who may find it useful and how to take advantage of this service.

What is a safe deposit box, and what can be stored in it?

In essence, a safe deposit box is a personal safe. You can rent it for the secure storage of valuables such as money, jewelry, a collection of precious coins.

You can store almost anything in the box, except prohibited items like weapons, narcotics, explosives, toxic or radioactive substances. Perishable items, including food, cannot be stored in the box either. This clause is always included in the agreement with Vintage Vaults.

Why store money in a safe deposit box; isn't it more profitable elsewhere?

Simply keeping money in the box doesn't make much sense, as there is no interest accruing on it. However, a safe deposit box can be used for storing and securely transferring money when conducting significant transactions, such as real estate purchases.

How long can valuables be stored in the box?

You can rent the box for any period. Typically, agreements are made for durations ranging from 1 day to 3 years with the option to extend (prolong). It's essential to be attentive in this regard. The Vintage Vaults may automatically extend the agreement, leaving your valuables in the box, and you only need to pay the necessary fee for storage.

If there is no automatic extension, everything depends on the agreement. Some vaults will remind you when the rental period is about to expire, while others may not.

In any case, if you don't retrieve your belongings on time, the vaults may open the safe and place the contents in a unified closed storage. When you decide to reclaim your items, you may be required to pay compensation—a penalty and storage fees at a higher rate.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, it's advisable to carefully study all the conditions of the agreement.

How much does a safe deposit box cost?

The rental cost of a safe deposit box depends on its size, with larger boxes being more expensive. On average, the rental of a safe deposit box can range from 1,000 to 3,000 AED per qarter.

Are all safe deposit boxes equally secure?

Vaults develop internal security standards. However, in general, there are not significant differences in the security systems of safe deposit boxes among different vaults.

What happens if thieves manage to steal valuables from my safe deposit box?

The chances of recovering stolen items or receiving their monetary value depend on the type of agreement you have with the vault.

It is safer to use a contract for responsible storage. In this case, the vault is responsible for the preservation of the contents, and valuables are accepted and released based on an inventory. If you deposit money into the box, the vault will count and verify their authenticity. If you plan to store other property, the vault  will involve an appraiser to determine the fair value, and you may need to pay separately for this service. In the event of a loss, the vault is obligated to fully compensate for the damage. However, not all vaults offer this service.

More commonly, vaults offer a standard lease agreement. This means that the vault  does not monitor what is in the safe: items are deposited without an inventory and without the involvement of vault employees. A vault safe deposit box is opened with two keys: one is kept by you, and the other is held by the vault. Therefore, a vault employee will enter the vault with you to open the safe with their key. After that, they will leave the room, giving you time to place your valuables in the box.

In any case, the vault is responsible for the security of the safe. According to the law, if the box is robbed, the vault must compensate you for the losses, fully covering the value of the lost property. You have the right to take legal action against the vault. However, proving, without an inventory, that the box contained a diamond necklace rather than a bag of chips can be challenging. In this situation, your only hope is with the police.

Therefore, with a lease agreement, it is safer to store only items that are not of interest to vault robbers, such as documents. Another option is to separately insure your property. If the vault does not offer this service, you can approach an external insurance company.

How to rent a safe deposit box at the vault?
1. Firstly, you need to sign a contract, and for this, you will need a passport. If you intend to use the box for transferring money, for example, for buying land, you should come to the vault together with the seller and sign a three-party agreement.

2. Choose the size of the box and the rental period. For transactional purposes, the box is typically needed for a short duration, usually not exceeding a month, but the rental can be extended if necessary.

It's advisable to choose a contract with automatic renewal, or else you (or both you and the seller) will need to visit the vault again to renew the lease.

3. After that, you will be given the key to the box. The second key remains with the vault. Additionally, you may be provided with a one-time electronic pass for access to the storage area where the box is located.

If you plan to use the box to transfer money for purchasing property, you can immediately hand over the key to the seller. However, they can only use it after the real estate becomes yours.

4. To deposit or retrieve items from the box, you, along with a vault employee, enter the storage area. The employee opens the box with their key, and you use your key. Depending on whether you have a storage or lease agreement, the vault representative either monitors what you deposit or retrieve or leaves you alone with the safe.

If you choose a storage agreement, the vault will count the money, verify its authenticity, create an inventory, and then place it in the box in your presence. If it's a lease agreement, the vault employee does not check what you deposit into the box.

5. After you have placed items in or taken them out of the box, you (or the seller) close it with your key, and the employee uses their key.

Difference Between Bank and Private Safe Deposit Boxes