Rats ruin furniture

COVINGTON, Ga. (CBS46) – CBS46 is working to get results for a local woman who says she put her stuff in storage only to pick it up months later covered in mold, mildew, rat urine and feces.

Bennice Lovelace stored her furniture at People Self Storage on Salem Road in Covington. She said she is hoping to shed light on what she’s calling deplorable conditions.

Lovelace stored her things in two climate-controlled units for six months.

“I needed storage, because my daughter and I are currently homeless,” said Lovelace, who put her things in the units in June until she could find a place a place to live with her 8-year-old daughter.

About two weeks ago, she went to pick up her furniture.

“I found rat feces all over everything in my storage unit,” Lovelace said. “My daughter’s furniture, my bedroom mattress, her dresser, my bedroom set, all over my sofa, my storage bins with our clothing, just over everything.”

She immediately went inside the office and told management what she found.

“I advised him that my storage unit was full rat feces and urine, and he stated they have had a rat problem, and they had Orkin out for more than five years, and they were aware of the situation,” Lovelace added.

But she says no one notified her about this problem before she put her belongings inside.

Lovelace said her movers told her to leave the items in the storage unit, but instead she took them with her because it’s all she had. “That was my whole house in the storage unit,” she said.

She signed a contract but didn’t choose insurance coverage, so the storage facility told her there’s nothing they can do. She says that’s irrelevant in this situation:

“They should reimburse me for my belongings, because I don’t think a rat infestation would be covered under insurance, that’s something within the company itself,” Lovelace added. “He also stated I needed to contact my homeowner’s insurance for coverage at a storage facility, and I stated, I don’t have a home, so how can homeowner’s insurance cover my things in storage?”

She said an employee also told her other customers have complained about the same thing.

“But I guess, the other people, it wasn’t their whole life, this is my whole life here, and all my things are destroyed,” said Lovelace, “I can’t sleep on my mattress, my daughter can’t use her furniture, anything.”

Lovelace said management never called her back.

CBS46’s Melissa Stern reached out to People Self Storage multiple times, but never heard back, either.

We know they got the message, because they did call the police to ask her to leave their property.

“The smell is down in the cushions,” Lovelace said, “I would like to be reimbursed to replace my furniture in my bedroom. My daughter doesn’t have anything to sleep on.”

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