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Lost All My Belongings, What Are My Rights?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So I rented a storage unit a few months ago and just recently discovered that it is infested with field mice. I had insurance on the items through State Farm but unfortunately they don't cover rodents.

 

Here's what gets me, the storage company knew they had an infestation. When I told them my stuff was ruined by rodents they didn't act surprised at all. Then they brought me sticky tape instead of rat traps. They obviously knew and didn't mention it when we moved in.

 

Its only been a few months and everything is ruined.

 

We have been living in our RV so about 85% of our belongings were in the storage. We are paying almost $200 a month for our storage not like it's a cheap and run down place. They offered to unlock their dumpster so we can throw our things out but other than that they haven't offered us any compensation.

 

So what do I do, take them to small claims court? Do I need to come up with money for a lawyer? I really don't know what to do. Any advice would be greatly appeciated.

post #2 of 12

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

 

 

 

I am not sure if there is anything you can actually do about this if your storage insurance or private insurance doesn't pay for rodents.

 

 

Mice and rats are pretty common everywhere in storage units if you do not have an indoor climate controlled facility. I mean storage lockers are similar to garages and not air tight. The facility can't open all the lockers and check for mice in each one or set traps all over the outside for them. And it only takes a few to do a ton of damage... it doesn't require hundreds or thousands that would make up a true infestation.

 

 

We have lost belongings a couple of times too because of mice. bawling.gif  It was our fault for having some food items and bathroom items mixed in with our stuff as the mice LOVE that and clothing/paper. And then we were not checking very often. Now I always assume that there will be some rodent activity in any storage (or garage) enviroment and now pack accordingly.

 

 

I am sorry to hear this happened... but I doubt legally you can do anything. It's a risk of using storage I am afraid. hug2.gif

post #3 of 12

You can get storage for $200 a month for all your belongings?  Storage is expensive around here.

I agree with the PP, you definitely want an inside, climate controlled unit, no paper, no soaps, no food. JUST STUFF.

I would read your contract with the rental facility but basically they didn't act maliciously,  The rental facility does not have a right to enter your locker with out  notice so while they may have mice 'around' there is no way for them to know if there are mice in your stuff.

 

I would double check my renters insurance to see what it does cover.

 

 

post #4 of 12

So far from everything I have read, they are not liable.  I know that sucks but once the door is shut by you to the unit they do not have to open doors to check for infestations.  It's up to the tenants to inform them if there is something going on.  However that could hurt them as well since most people will move their items from storage if it's infested. 

 

I'm sorry.  I hope you can get things figured out I would take them up on tossing things out in their dumpster. 

post #5 of 12

My parents own a storage unit business and like others have said, the owners are not responsible. greensad.gif It just isn't possible to keep them out always. Mice can fit through an opening the size of your fingertip. Indoor units are way safer, the ones that are outside are more of a gamble. I'm sorry. 

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

I moved my salvaged stuff to another storage with an indoor space. My renters insurance says they won't cover it.

post #7 of 12

I'm sorry this happened to you.  It really sucks!  We had mice and one elephant rat...he was huge that loved to use our garage.  I lost a lot of books since books are apparently tasty.  Now I let my dogs and cat hang out in the garage since it's mostly empty and all the dangerous stuff is put up.  NO recent droppings. 

 

But is sucks to lose stuff that you want or need.

post #8 of 12

That sucks!

 

We have mice in the attic and I have lost stuff that was stored up there because of them. Super frustrating.

post #9 of 12

What was the value of the items that were ruined? (and when you make that calculation, think about what YOU would have paid to buy an item of the same age and condition).  If this was regular old used household stuff, it's probably not worth trying to pursue.  BUT if it was truly valuable stuff (and no just sentimental value), it might not hurt to talk to an attorney to see if they can work with either your insurance company or shake some money out of the unit owner.  Insurance companies always say that your claim is not covered, it's their business to not pay out claims, but sometimes they can be persuaded otherwise.

post #10 of 12

I had this exact thing happen to me a few days ago.  Except I did have an indoor climate controlled storage unit.  Any advice as to what I can do?

post #11 of 12

Think of the positive light....you are living in RV so you are not able to use your belongings and have been paying monthly for it. now you are free to save that money and rebuy later when you stop RVing!

 

I feel like monty python...always look on the bright side of life...do doo...

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

That's all I could do was look on the bright side. My renters insurance didn't cover a cent so I don't have to pay for that any more either! Daniel sorry that happened to you as well..............welcome to MDC!

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