Green Self Storage in Worcester, England, has offered to assist customers displaced by the closing of nearby Guardian Self Storage with moving transportation and available units. Guardian Self Storage entered voluntary liquidation about a month ago, but many customers have been unable to remove their belongings from the facility.
“We managed to get 10 people to get their stuff out of the container and give them storage here,” said Simon Atkins of Green Self Storage. “We want to offer people help or transport. We know it’s a very stressful time moving. Whatever we can do to help we will.”
Guardian Self Storage had been in business since 2000. A message on its website instructed customers to contact HallmarkHulme Solicitors, a law firm specializing in commercial and residential property, to gain access to their possessions.
Although some tenants have been able to recover their property, others like Jeanette Weir have been inside the facility but cannot locate their belongings. Weir is trying to mobilize other tenants in the same situation, believing they will be more equipped to resolve their disputes as a group.
“I think it is important to try to get everyone working together,” Weir said. “I feel for those who have lost everything with no way of replacing their things.”
Police received multiple complaints from customers who could not retrieve their belongings. Mark Evans, a customer who did recover his property, said he had stored £15,000 ($24,000) worth of goods at the facility.
"I had everything in there, all my furniture, TV and other household things as well as personal items that are of sentimental value like photos of my son and late father,” he said. “It was heartbreaking.”
Weir believes the facility and the liquidation process failed to protect tenants' property. “There need to be better controls in place and perhaps stronger legislation to ensure that this never happens again,” she said. “The liquidators should have ensured that the innocent third parties had the opportunity of rescuing their belongings right at the start of all this.”
“If you’ve got a storage site you’ve effectively got people’s lives in there,” Atkins said. “You are being a custodian to their history. The last thing I want to see is people questioning the safety of putting stuff into storage.”