The Real.Est List
Rats ate the photos in your storage bin? Tough.
If you're lucky enough to rent a private storage bin in your building's basement, you're probably paying less than you would for offsite storage, and it's a lot more convenient. But if the storage area floods or your stuff gets devoured by rats (or stolen by criminals while your doorman takes a two-hour "cigarette break" at the bar next door), you're probably on your own, notes Habitatmag.com in its all-about-storage-rooms Q&A.
"All property is stored at tenant's sole risk," goes the typical licensing agreement language, according to Habitat. "Lessor is not responsible for damage or loss to person or property caused by fire, smoke, water, weather, vermin, insects, interruption of utilities, unexplained disappearance, negligence of lessor or lessor's agents, or any other cause, including theft and criminal acts of others."
There are also limits to what you can store: Explosives, food, and dead or alive animals are all verboten, so you'll have to find another place to put your wife's freeloading cousin.