SOLVED! - “How Long Can Someone Leave Their Property At Your House?”: Overviews

In most of the cases, people who decide to entrust their properties to acquaintances plan to get them back eventually. However, reports of homeowners having to manage things that others leave in their houses for weeks/months/years with no end in sight still appear. Needless to say, it’s a hassle to take care of the possessions that don’t belong to you for an extended period of time. Thus, “how long can someone leave their property at your house?” is one of the questions that lies heavily on the mind of reluctant keepers.

A Guide On Dealing With Properties Of Others In Your House 

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Tired of looking after stuff that people leave in your house but have no idea what to do with them? In that case, you have come to the right place. This article could tell you everything that you must know once it comes to properties of others in your house.

Lost Properties Vs. Abandoned Properties 

How long can someone leave their property at your house? With your permission, indefinitely. However, if you don’t agree to look after anything yet you still find yourself with properties of others then two scenarios may play out

  • Lost Properties: In layman’s terms, lost properties include things that others left behind unintentionally.  Legally, lost properties still belong to their owners which is why you can’t do as you please with them. Different places have different regulations but you have to store lost properties in a safe place until people reclaim them. That being said, limits exist and it’s not uncommon for lost properties to become abandoned properties after some time.
  • Abandoned Properties: As the name suggests, abandoned properties include things that their owners no longer want to keep around anymore. Thus, you could do whatever you want with abandoned properties in your house: keep them, dump them, sell them, etc.

Processing Properties: A Summary 

For Lost Properties

In the case that you happen to be dealing with lost properties, follow the following steps

  • Step 1: Relocate the properties to a secured location. To be thorough, you should prioritize well-ventilated areas that see low traffic. Next, write down relevant details from status of the properties to date and time as they could come in handy in the future.
  • Step 2: Reach out to the owners of the properties. A phone call is sufficient but other options exist: email, letter. etc. Explain in detail properties that they left their properties in your house and ask them to come pick them up. It’s wise to take the opportunity to arrange a schedule.
  • Step 3: If the owners go to your house and retrieve their properties then all is fine. Still, if the owners fail to show up, you have to contact them again but it’s a good idea to use a letter for the occasion. By going with the letter, you could make a copy and bring it to the court if necessary. Remember to specify in the letter that it’s the second time you reach out to the owners and give them a deadline.
  • Step 4: Assuming that the owners of the properties respond to your letter and ask for more time, you all can proceed to work out a timetable. However, if the owners remain uncooperative or refuse to contact you before the deadline, you may consider their properties to be abandoned. At that point, your duty with the properties comes to an end since their owners have ceded the right to them.

For Abandoned Properties

Generally speaking, if you find abandoned properties in your house, you have the right to deal with them as you see fit. Nonetheless, you should think things through once it comes to abandoned properties to avoid headaches later on.

For instance, no one is going to make a fuss over a pair of slippers that possesses little monetary value. Still, if you have to process a car, you have to be cautious as vehicles have insurance and fall under a number of regulations. To stay on the safe side, it’s suggested that you consult a lawyer specialized in abandoned properties as you deduce the best course of action. The last thing you want to experience is to get in trouble with the law after selling a car someone dropped off at your house.


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Could I remove the stuff of my ex-partner following divorce?

Divorce may be a bit messy but it’s strongly recommended that you refrain from giving in to your feelings. If you throw out the properties of your ex-wife/husband on your own initiative, there is a chance that you would face criminal charges. As a result, it’s a good idea to have a talk with your ex-partner and come to a compromise regarding his/her properties in your house. That is going to save you a lot of frustration in the future.

Is it possible to sue someone if they throw out my belongings? 

If you can prove that people throw your things without informing you, you have a viable case on your hand. That being said, most courts won’t hear cases involving items that cost less than a certain amount. On average, if the total cost of your items is around $300, buy replacements from the local stores and save yourself the trouble of going to court. For your information, court procedures include a wide range of expenses that empty your wallet in a blink of an eye.

What should I do if my tenants disappear and leave properties behind? 

First, you have to treat the properties as lost properties and follow the steps mentioned above. Afterward, if your tenants fail to reach out to you, you could regard the properties as abandoned and process them in whatever way you like. Resist the temptation to sell the properties to make up for unpaid rent until they become abandoned in the eyes of the law though. In the meantime, feel free to use the security deposit to cover unpaid rent and file a claim if the deposit happens to be insufficient.

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