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Public Storage Disposes of Tenant's Property after Hurricane

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  • Public Storage Disposes of Tenant's Property after Hurricane

    Just came across this news story this morning.

    https://abc7ny.com/ida-flooding-publ...ains/11122731/

    Here is Public Storage's Quote on the manner at the end of the story.

    "Hurricane Ida was New Jersey's second most devastating storm on record, and we deeply sympathize with our customers who lost belongings as a result of the damage it caused. We made every attempt to allow customers into the facility, but as we previously communicated to all affected customers, our certified environmental health and safety consultants at Hillmann Consulting have determined that there is no safe way to access the affected area and the items stored there due to raw sewage, toxins, and hazardous mold caused by the storm. We had no choice but to declare items stored in the affected area a total loss and unsalvageable and to have certified personnel dispose of those items appropriately for the safety of our employees, customers, and the community.

    "We understand this situation is disappointing and challenging for our customers. For affected customers, we have refunded September's rent and are not charging for October. We are committed to providing our customers with photos and other documentation needed for insurance. We will continue to work with customers to help address their needs and guide them through the insurance claims process."


    So I can see this from both perspectives. I had a facility flood in 2008, we went to great lengths to allow our customers to go through their belongings.. At the same time many of our customers had homes that had flooded so cleaning out their storage unit wasn't their top priority.

    After a River flood everything gets covered in a sludge, which after the waters recede is very slippery.

    From the story it appears this was a multi level facility,

    Which means you can't just open the door and let it air out, all of that is enclosed in a building spreading the smell and who knows what else through the facilities ventilation system.

    I don't know how long they waited, or how they contacted their tenant's but this is a interesting situation. Do you approve of how they handled it? What would you have done? Or have you done in the past?

  • #2
    Raw sewage? Toxins? (probably chemicals etc.) Yikes. I think I would have deferred to the experts as well. $40 grand worth of stuff in the unit? That's why we insist on insurance. Hope he took pictures and has receipts to prove to the insurance.
    "The comeback is always stronger than the setback."
    Mom, Navy Vet, genealogist and voracious reader
    Always sunny in California

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    • #3
      I've been through a flood personally and can understand the grief of losing personal belongings. With a big company like Public Storage, I understand they have to be careful for liability reasons also. I would think that there has to be some way to allow the tenants in to decide what to dispose of themselves instead of letting someone else decide that for them. I mean, couldn't they have cleaned up the hallways enough to safely allow people to get to their units? Have them sign in, sign a liability waive or something? "Enter at your own risk"? Just my opinion.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by fishhu1968 View Post
        I've been through a flood personally and can understand the grief of losing personal belongings. With a big company like Public Storage, I understand they have to be careful for liability reasons also. I would think that there has to be some way to allow the tenants in to decide what to dispose of themselves instead of letting someone else decide that for them. I mean, couldn't they have cleaned up the hallways enough to safely allow people to get to their units? Have them sign in, sign a liability waive or something? "Enter at your own risk"? Just my opinion.
        I'm sure Public Storage weighed the risk and calculated that any lawsuits from disposing the property would be cheaper than the liability of letting tenants access the unit and get hurt or sick from the conditions. Even though most of our contracts you waive liability, that doesn't always hold up in court and there are certain liabilities you cannot waive.

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        • #5
          Doesn't PS require their own insurance?
          "The comeback is always stronger than the setback."
          Mom, Navy Vet, genealogist and voracious reader
          Always sunny in California

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          • #6
            Originally posted by KrisinWA View Post
            Doesn't PS require their own insurance?
            I am not 100% certain BUT I think they have to get the coverage!
            Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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            • #7
              From just glancing at some information, it looks like a homeowners or renters policy, if it covers off-site storage, may only cover 10% of the policy amount ($2500 on a $25,000 policy). Of course, there would be the deductible, which probably is not 10% of that amount.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lady5563 View Post

                I am not 100% certain BUT I think they have to get the coverage!
                They did, there was a lawsuit in California last year or the year before, they were sued for having Managers tell people it was the law to have the insurance and not offering to let them use their own. I think they lost from what I remember.
                And on the homeowners the storage is listed under "additional structures" I tell people you can use your homeowners but ours is a 0 deductible. And we also give them the option of declining any coverage but they have to initial paperwork, and I explain it to them.... We do not cover anything.

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