Public Storage

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Public Storage
Type Public (NYSEPSA)
S&P 500 Component
Industry Real estate investment trust
Founded 1971
Headquarters Glendale, California, USA
Key people B. Wayne Hughes, founder; Ronald L. Havner Jr., Chairman of the Board, CEO and President
Revenue Increase$1.8 billion USD (2011)[1]
Operating income Increase$796 million USD (2011)[1]
Net income Increase$834 million USD (2011)[1]
Employees 5,000 (2012)[2]
Website http://www.publicstorage.com

Public Storage, a real estate investment trust (REIT), is the largest self-storage company in the United States with headquarters in Glendale, CA and the largest self-storage company in the world.[3]

Public Storage was founded on August 14, 1972 from a $50,000 investment.[4] It built its first self-storage facility in 1972. Today, it operates 2,200 unique company-owned locations in the United States[5] and in addition to Europe (under the Shurgard brand), totaling more than 141 million net rentable square feet of real estate. Its PS Business Parks, Inc. interest adds another 28 million net rentable square feet of commercial and industrial space.[6]

Based on the number of current tenants, Public Storage is one of the largest landlords in the world. The company was founded in 1971 by B. Wayne Hughes. Public Storage locations also sell packing and related moving supplies and facilitate the purchase of insurance from Willis Insurance, a subsidiary of the British insurance firm Willis Group Holdings.

Controversies[edit]

Auctions

Public Storage operates a website where it maintains a list of properties available for auctions of former customers personal possessions who have vacated their possessions as well as auctions of the personal possessions of current customers who have fallen behind on their rent.[7] The latter practice, under which Public Storage initiates lien proceedings in as little as 21 days after any customer falls behind on their rent has become a focus of customer anger and governmental inquiry, and the practice has been denounced as "legalized theft".[8] [9] Many customers have complained that Public Storage has refused to allow them to make payments on their back rent, demanding that if all their arrears are not paid in full by date of the auction, their personal belongings - including priceless family heirlooms - will be auctioned off. This has in fact happened to many customers at Public Storage; some have complained that they were never notified that an auction had been scheduled, which is a violation of the law in the United States. This practice of auctioning off the property of current customers against their will, which is common in the household self-storage industry in the US as a whole, has been criticised in news reports[10]as well as by lawyers[11] and legislators[12] around the United States, as has the equally common practice of conversion (law) of the property of the renter into the property of the storage company, which is, in some cases, illegal.[13] The controversy over the practice of storage companies' auctioning off of customers' property against their will is leading to the development of an emerging field of litigation and legislation against the practice. A least one successful lawsuit has been brought against Public Storage in Illinois over this issue, with the court finding that Public Storage's business practices were "reprehensible" and monetary awards in the hundreds of thousands of dollars were awarded to a former customer of Public Storage, the plaintiff in the case.[14]


Security and Maintenance

Public Storage has been criticised by many customers as well as its own employees for its poor maintenance practices at its facilities. Security lights are not replaced; security gates are left open all night; snow removal is not performed properly; and poor construction of lockers has been cited in cases of break-ins and theft of renters' property.[15][16][17]

In 2013, Former Public Storage Regional Vice-President Paul Trott filed a lawsuit against Public Storage, alleging that he was fired after complaining to the company's upper management that the company's poor maintenance practices were creating safety hazards at the 35 facilities in North Carolina that he was responsible for. Trott claimed that in 2012, Public Storage ordered him to reduce the amount spent on maintainence of the company's facilities by as much as 70% on such things as security lighting, which led to an increased number of break-ins at the poorly-lighted facilities.[18]

At left, a PS in Ann Arbor, MI; at right, a facility in Los Angeles, CA

A locksmith has created a YouTube video that shows how useless the locks sold by Public Storage to their customers are. In it, he successfully picks 3 of the locks sold by Public Storage in under 1 minute.[19]


Storage Insurance

There have been numerous reports nationwide that Public Storage employees have claimed that customers are required to purchase insurance for their belongings through Public Storage. In many states, it is illegal for people to solicit insurance policies if they are not licensed to do so by the state. A class-action lawsuit initiated against Public Storage asserted that Public Storage had set up its own "front companies" to sell insurance to its own customers, and then when customers try to make claims under their policies, their claims are summarily denied - even when police reports back up customers' claims.[20] In San Francisco, California, CBS TV Channel 5's Julie Watts[21] produced a series of investigative reports on Public Storage's illegal (under California law) sales of insurance to customers by their employees.[22] [23]

Public Storage interior hallway

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c PSA Income Statement | Public Storage Common Stock Stock - Yahoo! Finance
  2. ^ Public Storage Common Stock Stock - Yahoo! Finance
  3. ^ Shurgard Self Storage homepage. It is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange
  4. ^ 2012 Public Storage Annual Report. Page 12.
  5. ^ The Oregonian, Storage unit auction bidders seek treasures in leftovers of others' lives, December 28, 2012
  6. ^ "Public Storage (PSA) Company Profile | Reuters.com". reuters.com. Retrieved 15 August 2012. "net rentable square feet of commercial space in eight states" 
  7. ^ Public Storage Auctions
  8. ^ "Public Storage Sucks!". http://publicstoragesuckschicago.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/welcome-to-public-storage-sucks/. Public Storage Sucks. 22 march 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Ripoff report - Search: Public Storage". http://www.ripoffreport.com. Ripoff Report. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  10. ^ KCAL 9 TV (14 May 2013). "Storage Nightmares". http://losangeles.cbslocal.com. KCAL CBS 9 TV. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Wrongful Auction - About Us". http://podslitigation.com/. Pods Litigation. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  12. ^ DiUlio, Nick (17 February 2014). "Sponsor of auction bill in New York says he’s not ‘attacking’ self-storage industry". http://blog.selfstorage.com. Selfstorage.com. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  13. ^ zeDay, Chee (10 February 2011). "Man Gets Tased At Storage auction in Lincolnwood, IL". YouTube. Chee zeDay. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Dubey vs Public Storage". Public Storage Sucks!. Public Storage Sucks!. 23 October 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  15. ^ CBS 5 ConsumerWatch (4 February 2011). "ConsumerWatch: Are Bay Area Storage Units Safe?". http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com. CBS 5 ConsumerWatch. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  16. ^ Young, Nancy (2012). "Storage Wars Gone Wrong, Ronald Havner CEO of Public Storage, What do you think?". YouTube. Nancy Young. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  17. ^ moosefone (6 June 2007). "Public (RIPOFF) Storage". YouTube. moosefone. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Berky, Rad (29 May 2013). "Former Public Storage VP claims he was fired over safety complaints". http://www.wcnc.com. WCNC-TV, Inc. Retrieved 2 April, 2014. 
  19. ^ bosnianbill (23 October 2012). "Public Storage Area Padlocks - AVOID THEM!!!". YouTube. bosnianbill. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Bang vs. United States Fidelity". http://publicstoragesuckschicago.wordpress.com/. Public Storage Sucks!. 8 June 2006. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  21. ^ Watts, Julie (2014). "Julie Watts". http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com. CBS Local Media. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  22. ^ Watts, Julie (18 November 2010). "ConsumerWatch: Insurance Issues At Public Storage". http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com. CBS Local Media. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  23. ^ Watts, Julie (9 December 2010). "ConsumerWatch: Ex-Public Storage Employee Talks About Insurance". http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com. CBS Local Media. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 

External links[edit]