Does she have a case?

Sue_C Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
edited June 2017 in News
From The Pennsylvania Record:
Philly woman says self-storage facility failed to mail her rental bills and auctioned her possessions
Tell us your thoughts on this lawsuit!


  • Orkocean
    Orkocean Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭

    Something that I didn't see clarified in the article. She received some of the mail at her new address but then it mentions about her forwarded mail time expiring. If she was only receiving the mail she did get because of the forwarded mail and not because the facility was physically sending it to the new address then I don't see her having a leg to stand on as I'm sure public storage's leases specify any changes to your address must be made to the facility in an official form of some type for them to update your account. I know for us if we got mail back with a forward expired address for someone in lien we would go that same day to send it to the updated address just to make sure we did our part.

    I don't know PS's timeline for auctions but I've been told it's pretty quick compared to most. As far as her check being cashed in the same month it was auctioned it *could* be to do with them taking partial payments but having it specified in their lease that partial payments do not remove you from being sold at auction. Without seeing an actual ledger, notes and their lease rules to go off of it's hard to say for sure who was wrong in this case.

  • MrFugate
    MrFugate Registered User ✭✭✭

    Most of the things listed in the suite P.S. list in their lease NOT to store at their properties & would not be covered under the insurance unfortunately. P.S. also requires change of Address in writing & signed by the customer, at least they did when I worked for them.  

    As far as the auction timeline that would depend on the state not P.S.

  • DerekBrett
    DerekBrett Registered User ✭✭✭

    after first look, without seeing any additional info, I would say it should go in favor of the plaintiff. they apparently had her new address if she received the rent and insurance increases. and it seems pretty sketchy they didn't cash her checks until after it was auctioned off.

    there's definitely more to the story but that's what I think so far, with what little info was given.

  • ThriftyStorage
    ThriftyStorage Registered User ✭✭✭
    Storage facilities are not required to send invoices to tenants. It is the tenant's responsibility to pay their storage rent on time!
  • Ron
    Ron Registered User ✭✭✭
    The facility better make sure they did everything right. If the facility was notified of the new address by the post office, there might be a problem if they continued to send notices to the old address. Many judges see the post office as an agent for the tenant when they complete a change of address form with the post office. 

    The media loves cramming victims down our throats. Everyone is a victim or someone in need of a social justice warrior.....How dare they sell the poetry she cared so much about, she shoved them in a storage unit...
  • ThriftyStorage
    ThriftyStorage Registered User ✭✭✭
    Ron, isn't the tenant suppose to notify the storage facility when tenant information changes?
  • ThriftyStorage
    ThriftyStorage Registered User ✭✭✭
    After reading the whole story, I think that the storage facility blew it!!!
  • Ron
    Ron Registered User ✭✭✭
    Ron, isn't the tenant suppose to notify the storage facility when tenant information changes?
    When somebody fills out a change of address form with the post office, they are making the postal service their agent to notify mail senders of their new address. I will try to find the court cases again where a company was found negligent because they ignored the yellow sticker change of address. Google Scholar is a good resource. When I was running, I kept up with that kind of stuff. It has been a few years.

    We still have in our contract about requiring a written change of address, so normally we will mail a change of address form to the new address. If we do not get one back, we attach the yellow tag to our change of address form and put a note in sitelink that we need the customer to sign one. Some facilities will continue to mail notices to both address. 
  • teamcapitola
    teamcapitola Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2017

    I can only speak for California....

    From an independent facility point of view, I want to avoid auctions if at all possible... If I know an address for a tenant is different then what's in the system, I will send the notices there in addition to the "last known address".

    The facility is required to send the (lien) notices to the "last known address" (the last address with a signature). While we can also send additional notices to another address (such as a forwarded address we might become aware of) We happen to do that, but we are not required to.

    (California B&P code 21701 (f) “Last known address” means that address provided by the occupant in the latest rental agreement, or the address provided by the occupant in a subsequent written notice of a change of address".)

    It is the customers responsibility to inform the facility in writing (with a signature) of a new mailing address.

    I figure if the tenant did not update her address with the facility, they have no legal requirement to send anything to a different address, or to hunt down the tenants new address.

    That aside, it seems like there are other things going on.. she was sending checks, and the checks were cashed ....all the way up to the same month as the auction?  There are always two sides to a story, and as my grandpa used to say "the truth lies somewhere in the middle".

  • Clyde_Lord_Jr
    Clyde_Lord_Jr Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified ✭✭
    If the checks were not for the new full amounts, they may have been seen as partial payments. As long as the letters were sent to the last known address and they attempted to email or call...they did their part. Snail mail is very unreliable as well. Cards or online banking is better. 
  • janiceD
    janiceD Registered User
    If she moved and failed to sent a written change of address to the storage facility then I think the problem is hers. However, if we get  letters back from a client, we call, email or text them and advise that they are  responsible for keeping their contact information current. We even found a client that was in Lien status who seemed to drop off the face of the earth. We google searched until we found in a legal document from another county that he had been committed to a mental institution. luckily we are able to work with his social worker to get his bill paid and not go to auction. he was very happy when he got out and was able to come and move his prized guitars out of storage. 
    Due diligence: it may be extra work but its worth it :)
  • wsss
    wsss Registered User
    Does anyone know the outcome?
  • AnitaJohnson1269
    AnitaJohnson1269 Registered User ✭✭✭✭
    I don't know about this one.  She got the increase notice March, Ins. increase in April, which she says she was paying....  Auctioned in July?  Did they give her another increase between April and June?  Hmmm.  I'd like to know the outcome as well.
  • AnitaJohnson1269
    AnitaJohnson1269 Registered User ✭✭✭✭
    I tried to post the link.  I guess it is waiting for approval.  But Yes, she won the case and was given $8000.oo
  • Faye
    Faye Registered User ✭✭✭✭
    We had something very similar happen here before I started but was going to court when I started. The tenant won!
  • Juan
    Juan Registered User
    Email addresses are legal in Michigan

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