What can be done if my sister’s apartment storage unit was broken into by the management and all the contents were accidentally disposed of?

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What can be done if my sister’s apartment storage unit was broken into by the management and all the contents were accidentally disposed of?

After speaking to management, it seems it was a mistake on the part of an employee. Apparently, he thought the stuff in the storage unit belonged to someone who moved out months ago. So he broke the lock and discarded the contents without any prior notice. Furthermore, he also gave the parking spot to a new tenant who threatened to have her car towed if she did not move it out of her parking space immediately. This was sorted out the next morning when the management realized it was a mistake on their part.

Asked on June 26, 2015 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your sister can sue the landlord for negligence for the disposal of her property in the storage unit.

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable landlord would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

The landlord is liable for the negligence of an employee that occurred within the course and scope of employment.

Your sister's damages (the amount of compensation she is seeking in her lawsuit) would be the value of her personal property that was disposed of by the landlord's employee.


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