What can I do if someone stole from my storage unit?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What can I do if someone stole from my storage unit?

One morning I went to my storage unit and there was a different lock in place. I asked the manager about it but they did not change the locks nor did they have a camera pointed at my unit for evidence. What can I do?

They are claiming that the tenant should have insurance, which I was never informed of. What are my options? I’ve lost a bunch of coats and my precious golf clubs.

Asked on September 3, 2019 under Business Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

IF you can show that the storage company was materially or significantly less secure than is industry norm or standard, then you might be able to sue the company for your loss, on the ground it only occured due to their negligence, or unreasonable carelessness. But to do that, you'll need some industry expert, such as someone who owns other storage facilities and has experience with them, to testify that in his/her professional experience, the storage area was not as secure as is the industry norm or standard. You'd have to pay this person for his/her time, and cannot make the storage company pay for it, so what you'd have to pay will effectively reduce (i.e. come out of or eat into) the compensation you'd get if you win (winning is never guaranteed), reducing the incentive to sue.
And if this storage facility is more-or-less as secure as most are, then they are not liable: they are only liable if unreasonably careless. 
They are correct that a tenant in such a location should have insurance; bear that in mind for the future.

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