Can a tenant hold management responsible for lost belongings stored in a rented storage unit?

UPDATED: Jul 6, 2012

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Can a tenant hold management responsible for lost belongings stored in a rented storage unit?

I have rented at this place for 9 years. Recently I went into my storage unit and all my belongings were gone. I freaked out and tried the unti next to mine, which my key opened – what? I filed a police report. Officer told me to press management for reimbursement of 2 bikes worth $500. No signs of forced entry, key mixup, various mismanagement of units. Property insurance has denied my claim since the police report was filed as theft and according to lease they are not reponsible for theft. I am not currently on a lease; I am month-to-month. Any options here to hold them liable if they were egligent?

Asked on July 6, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have some receipt with respect to the items that you placed in storage at the complex where you reside read it carefully in that such paper work controls the obligations owed to you with respect to the items placed in storage by your landlord and vice versa.

You could bring a small claims action against the landlord for carelessly safeguarding your belongings if you can prove that somehow he or she was negligent and the value of the items taken.

My experience is that unless you can prove the above, you will have a hard time prevailing in small claims court unless you received some receipt from the landlord for storing the bicycles and paid some money for their storage.

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