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What to consider before renting a storage unit in Arizona

Posted at 5:00 AM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 09:33:08-04

PHOENIX — It was a phone call Mark didn't plan on...

"They said there are some rodents," recalled Mark. "And there is also a smell in the storage unit like something... it's decomposed or something."

The company he hired to move his belongings from the "Arizona Storage Inns" at 16th Street and Baseline Road to his new home said, when they got there, many of his big-ticket items were destroyed.

Inside a box spring mattress, they found a rat's nest along with stains from the animal elsewhere. Inside a packed box, he says, they found an actual rat that had died.

"It was filthy, and you know, disgusting," said Mark.

When he reached out to management, he says he was told there was nothing they were going to do.

"He said, that's normal [and] if I'm thinking that they are responsible for it, I'm some kind of lunatic or something," said Mark.

We followed up with the company and were told they "sympathize with [Mark] and the loss and damage of his items, but we do not feel we should be held liable or responsible for the damage to his items, or even the fact the rodents entered the property."

They say, "in most cases rodent activity is brought into the site by a customer, it could have been [Mark] or another customer, or they could have come under a gate or over the fence."

They say they have not gotten any other complaints.

No matter the case, they say Mark should "review the lease agreement he signed" which releases them of responsibility.

"Basically, everything is on me in this contract," said Mark.

While he says he still feels they are responsible, this is an important reminder to read the details of your contract and if you are going to store items, consider these three things:

  1. Read reviews for the facility you choose.
  2. Tour the unit before you agree to rent looking for signs of pests or other potential hazards.
  3. Purchase an insurance policy that covers your belongings in case of fire, water, or pest damage.