I rent a storage bin at a Public Storage location. (www.publicstorage.com) The agreement I signed is very specific about liability. It absolves them of any liability for theft unless I purchase their insurance, which I did not.
These storage bins (10x10 ft.) are open on top, covered with bolted-down chicken wire. I assume this is for fire-code purposes. Someone peeled back the chicken wire and stole items worth over $7000 from my unit. Management was no help, saying that unless I knew the theft had occurred within the past 30 days, they wouldn't even still have security video. I asked them to at least fix the chicken wire -- twice -- and six months later they still haven't done so.
I understand that I have no legal footing unless I can show "gross negligence" on their part. Is there a chance that their only keeping 30 days of video is "gross negligence" -- since people typically can go several months without paying a return trip to their storage bin? And, even though it was after-the-fact, does their failure to fix the breach in the chicken wire not show a pattern of "gross negligence?"
2 Answers from Attorneys
First, you would need to review the agreement with your attorney. What the agreement says will be very relevant to the question. So you should consult with a local attorney and go over the agreement with them.
Also, generally speaking a storage facility would not have the obligation to keep video for long periods of time. They may not even have any obligation to keep video at all. Again, these are things that you should go over with your attorney.
And it is really never a good idea to skimp on insurance. Insurance is the best way to protect yourself from suffering a loss in these types of situations.
Feel free to email me the agreement for my review, my email is in my contact information on my LawGuru profile . If you have pictures of the storage bin in its current state to help me better understand the set up that would help as well. There might be something I can do to help.