Dozens of Hoosiers say mold issues at Brownsburg Public Storage went unanswered for weeks

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BROWNSBURG, Ind. — More than 30 Hoosiers renting climate control units at a Public Storage facility in Brownsburg say their items are now covered in mold. Tenants say the mold has been growing for months, but management has been slow to respond and slow to notify others.

“It was just very disappointing,” said Krista England, a now Shelbyville resident who was storing her items in-between moves. “It was like we put our trust in them to keep our things safe and it was ruined and then we’re just met with victim blaming and it was just totally uncalled for.”

England said she rented a climate controlled storage unit to store her most important items like furniture, clothes, pictures and even her wedding gown. However, a short three weeks later she was notified by a neighbor who saw a Facebook post warning tenants to check their units for mold.

“[My neighbor] had seen a post on the Brownsburg Chatter page that someone had mold in their indoor unit and suggest that everyone go check their stuff,” said England. “So I made the trip up here and went inside, opened the door, and I mean you could just see mold everywhere. I mean literally just hanging off of everything in there.”

England said when she took her concerns to the property manager she was told the mold was a result of how she packed her unit.

“Basically just everything was my fault, the way that we did it was my fault, she took zero ownership or showed no concern whatsoever for issues that we were experiencing. So at that point we were just like ‘we’re done,’ we moved everything out,” said England.

Jennifer Hoereth, a Brownsburg resident, said she had a similar interaction with the facility’s property manager when she discovered mold in her unit back in July.

“We contacted [the property manager] here at Public Storage and she was unaware that there was any situations with mold and said that it was something with our unit only,” said Hoereth.

After multiple tenants voiced their concerns on social media, a small handful decided to create a Facebook page called Victims of Brownsburg Public Storage. To date, the group has grown to more than 30 victims – each with their own story of how they discovered mold in their unit.

FOX59 obtained a copy of Public Storage’s rental agreement which states:

“Even if climate controlled, the temperature and humidity levels within Your Space may not be constant at all times. We do not guarantee temperature or humidity ranges anywhere in the Facility, including Your Space, and you assume all risk of Loss due to fluctuations in temperature and humidity from any cause.”

The agreement goes on to write climate controlled units are “not suitable for the storage of valuables” such as heirlooms, documents, records, or any objects with special or emotional value — despite listing them as reasons to opt for climate controlled units.

Joan Holmes, and her daughter Tammy Holmes, were another two victims of mold at Brownsburg’s Public Storage facility. Tammy said she had been renting her unit for over a year before finding the mold at the end of July.

“When [management] found out about it they didn’t let anybody know,” said Tammy. “[Management] didn’t seem like they were trying to fix anything.”

Both Tammy and Joan said they moved their items out of the facility at the end of September. However, despite notifying management of their widespread issues, they said they ran into other tenants in the process who were unaware of any such issue.

“There was another lady who was moving things in and she said ‘they didn’t mention anything to me about a mold problem,'” said Joan. “And that’s when we decided that we really need to put this out there.”

Joan and Tammy were one of the first to post on community Facebook groups notifying others to check their items. Joan said she has even contacted the Indiana State Department of Health and the Attorney General’s Office.

FOX59 attempted to reach the property manager at the Public Storage facility in Brownsburg but did not hear back.

“Nobody’s getting any call backs. Nobody’s getting a response. It’s very infuriating for us to be paying so much money for things to be taken care of and to just not be acknowledged or responded to? So more than anything – I just want some acknowledgement,” said England.

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