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Ownership of possessions left behind...

  • 02-06-2022 3:15pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,764 ✭✭✭mickstupp

    Hi there,

    Have a situation where for over a year, an acquaintance has refused to remove their property from our shed. It takes up over half the shed and we'd like to either get rid of it or sell it or just move it somewhere else to make space etc.

    I've been trying to find applicable legislation on this sort of thing but I'm having no luck. Can anyone point me in the right direction?


  • Registered Users Posts: 444 ✭✭HorseSea

    When you say they have refused to remove their property, what exactly does that mean, they never came back, the told you they were not taking it, you can't contact them, what? What was the arrangement originally that led to the storage of the items originally?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,764 ✭✭✭mickstupp

    They were going to leave them there for a few weeks, which was fine. Then it turned into a few months.

    We then had a disagreement and we asked them to move their stuff out of the shed, over a year ago now, with three or four follow ups to see when they were going to do it. No response.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,443 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i'd suggest (IANAL) that one final warning - stating that if they don't collect it, it will be disposed - is the next step.

    i certainly wouldn't attempt to dispose of it without such a warning,

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,453 ✭✭✭sam t smith

    Burn the unwanted possessions with fire 🔥

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  • Phone your local council and report it as fly tipping on your property. Granted they may not do a great deal about it, but make sure you have a complete record of your complaint. Then send a registered letter to the owner informing him that you intend to dispose of the items in 30 days if not removed. Mention the fly tipping in the letter. If his crap has been there for over a year then chances are he doesn't much care about getting it back anyway, probably doesn't even have a record of what's there.

    BTW, have you not considered billing him for the rent of your shed? I suppose you should have thought of that in the first place, maybe it's a bit late to say it now as you didn't think it would come to this.

    Anyway, that's the Legal Discussion answer. The Cute Hoor answer is burn it and then let your man report a burglary to the Gardai if he wants to, should he ever actually make an effort to clean out your shed and find his crap is all gone. But one way or another, stop being a doormat for assholes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,728 ✭✭✭MrMusician18

    Something similar has happened to me, some contractors left a rather large and expensive piece of equipment in our home after they finished work. It was sitting there for months. I got sick of looking at it so I told them that they had two weeks to move it before it was to be disposed of. They didn't come.

    In the end, I didn't actually bin it but I did send it away for long term storage in a shed in my parents place. If they ever do come looking for it, it will take a week or two before it can be retrieved.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,668 ✭✭✭✭El_Duderino 09

    I never understand thr urge to build a case on lies rather than just telling the truth.

    If the op is going to give them notice they intend to dispose of the stuff, then they'll probably need to be sure the person got the message. Email and phone are fine, but registered post is probably the only way to demonstrate they gave notice.

    What kind of stuff is it, OP? Is it just clothes or furniture or is there anything worth money? What I'm asking is whether the person will come back looking for money if you sell their stuff. If it's just clothes and tat, they're probably not remotely interested and are just letting the op fret while they couldn't give a toss about the stuff.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 652 ✭✭✭eusap

    Pop €20 in an envelop and post to the owner telling them this is the money you got from selling their stuff that you think it is only right they have it.

    When they come back crying tell them you are willing to buy it back and where can i send it too

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The only case I could remember seems to have no or minuscule relevance:

    If you have no written terms whereby you can seize the property after X number of days I’d be wary of disposing of it. It might be worth the cost to pay for it to be removed and left on this persons property. You could try to recoup that (probably useless) but at least you’d be shut of it and him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 65 ✭✭Eire392

    Get rid of it. Keep evidence of your attempts to get the owner to retrieve it

    If they kick up a fuss it's a civil issue and no court in the country would come down on you after keeping it that length and numerous attempts to get the owner to retrieve. Give it to a charity shop (depending what it is)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,084 ✭✭✭manonboard

    Get rid of it, and tell them your shed was broken into. Very unfortunate for you OP. Shame the criminals mostly only took their stuff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,816 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    Final warning in writing and by registered post should suffice OP, alternatively remove the items (if practical and drop them off at your former friends address and take photos. I get a sense due to the Dalling out they don't want to call to your property, but if all other efforts have failed remove the items but again, document everything.

    I'm not sure if it's wise just to Dump another persons belongings.

    Involving local authority utterly pointless but on returning items to your former friends property, insure its to the property and not outside on a street or pathway. I'd also consider advising Gardai if your intention is to return items to avoid any suggestion or accusations of Trespass.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,518 ✭✭✭endofrainbow

    send them a link to or DoneDeal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,340 ✭✭✭NUTLEY BOY

    Sell the property in question and the legal owner will probably turn up next week looking for it ! So what ?

    The real owner might have a cause of action in the tort of conversion. Conversion occurs where the owner of property is wrongfully deprived of it's use and possession. I think that conversion might be one of those strict liability type situations i.e you held my property and now you cannot produce it so you are presumed liable.

    There might be gratuitous bailment. This is where property is entrusted to a bailee [OP] with no remuneration (as distinct from a bailee for reward). Again, I think this could be a strict liability situation in that a bailee is obliged to explain why they cannot deliver up property entrusted to them.

    I don't see any evidence of a contract - even implied. So, I cannot see any authority to deal with the goods in any particular way that might otherwise have been specified e.g. an agreement that goods will be disposed of within a certain time limit.

    Also, I wonder if there is any risk of a theft type offence being committed if the goods are disposed of in the knowledge that such an action will permanently deprive the owner of the goods. Devil's advocate - to be caught on this hook I suspect that OP would have to have taken the goods - which they most certainly did not do as the property was entrusted to them.

    Sending a registered letter notifying intention to dispose of the goods would not help IMHO as that act alone does not create a right to then proceed to dispose of the goods


  • Posts: 8,856 ✭✭✭ Terrence Hot Headgear

    If you had to sell your property, you’d be forced to act, wouldn’t you?

    So, what would you do?

    I think the phrase “reasonable steps” would be applicable here, but document everything. Also make sure you are using the acquaintances correct contact details- check with someone else to ensure either mobile email or address is correct.

    It sounds like the guy doesn’t care if his stuff is discarded but protect yourself nevertheless

    You haven’t said what the items are so I’d assume they’re items commonly found or stored in a shed? A BBQ, garden furniture, shovels and rakes, plant pots a bike, - that kind of thing?

    Here’s what I would do but it’s not legal advice

    Photograph/document everything that’s in the shed

    Send these pictures, list of items to your friend - email text and registered post. State in communication the history of your efforts to date to contact him and your previous requests to remove the items - especially the approx dates of when you did this.

    Tell him that if not collected by x time , x items going to charity, y items being dumped.

    Get receipts from charity shop for items sent there. Photograph stuff dumped in bin.

    TBH- it sounds like he broke up from a relationship, had a pile of junk and needed to store it somewhere in a hurry - he now doesn’t want this junk anymore and is ignoring you.,

    I really wouldn’t concern myself with what he “might” do if you dump the stuff- you’ve given him enough warning

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,443 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    if there are mutual friends you could ask them to help, possibly - just to get a message through. the power of embarrassment helps a lot, you could (truthfully) take the 'i'm trying to be the good guy here' line, and it could make the person in question seem unreasonable in front of other acquaintances. but there very well may not be someone willing to place themselves in that messenger role.

  • Posts: 8,856 ✭✭✭ Terrence Hot Headgear

    That would be an extreme case and one where there’s significant value involved AND how do you explain the lack of contact or response from the former acquaintance? They can’t have it every way- if they’ve been informed of what will happen then Shirley that’s enough? If you don’t pick up your dry cleaning in x weeks, or a lawnmower in for repair, it’s likely to be disposed of also - the “contract” was “a few weeks storage”- that’s long past- I reckon the items are of low value and no longer wanted by the acquaintance - I’d be running him if he rocked up looking for his goods

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,340 ✭✭✭NUTLEY BOY

    The dry cleaning or in-for-repair analogy is a good one. However, that would be grounded on an actual contract formed between customer and shop the terms being known to each party. In OP's case there is no evidence of a contract. Merely informing the lodger of the property does of itself create a right to act as if a contract was in place.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,024 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer

    The o/p allowed his premises to be used for a limited period of time to store some items. He can't be expected to keep the items indefinitely. He is entitled to withdraw the permission given for the owner to store the items on his property. Once he notifies the owner that the permission to store the items has been withdrawn, the items can be treated as abandoned and the o/p is free to deal with them as he wishes. Once the owner has been contacted and told he no longer has permission to store the goods he cannot claim theft of conversion or bailment unless he turns up within a reasonable time and seeks to remove the goods.

    There is certainly no contract because it was not intended at the outset that there was an intention to create legal; relations. For that reason the o/p owes no duty to his friend to preserve the goods after the time allowed for storage has passed. If he sells the goods he may possible be obliged to account to the owner for the net proceeds but that is a different matter.

  • You got the perfect response 5 posts in.

    Show up on their doorstep, dump it there with a sign saying "property of Person X"

    Move on with your life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,357 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu

    assuming they know where the person lives but yeah. Send them a text "I'm dropping round with your stuff on Saturday - see you then!"

  • You'd think it would be safe to assume that, anyone who's that close of an acquaintance where you'd agree to store their crap for X number of months would be close enough that you'd know their address. Or have means of obtaining that address from mutual friends etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,668 ✭✭✭✭El_Duderino 09

    The OP suggested there was a falling-out between then and now.

  • Yeah I got that, but unless they moved house, their address is still their address, surely?

    I know where all my enemies live 👺

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 11,594 Mod ✭✭✭✭miamee

    Tell him you are keeping all of his stuff. He'll either be outraged and come to reclaim it asap or he'll say fine, keep it and then it's yours to do what you like with.

    Over a year is long enough to be taking up that much space at your home without any plan or notification of when he might be back for it.