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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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My renting neighbor was evicted by the court. He somehow obtained

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My renting neighbor was evicted by the court. He somehow obtained a key for my home and moved all his stuff into mine. Once I discovered what he had done I had him arrested for trespassing. He's currently in jail. The Sheriff department said that I cannot remove his property. He moved in clothes, furniture, art work and music equipment. They said I would be liable. Why?

What should I do?

Thank you for your question.

The sheriff is incorrect, you CAN remove his property but you cannot throw his property out. In other words you are free to store his items elsewhere but you cannore permanently remove his items. The reason is because by putting his items into your premises, the neighbor created a bit of a 'bailment' situation. A bailment is when a relationship is created where one party obtains physical rights over property but no title. An example may be a valet who moves your car, or if you move your items into storage--both situations involve a third party who has physical control over items but no actual ownership. By moving his items inside, he made you the bailee of the items. A bailee is responsible for reasonable care of the items, meaning if they are damaged, lost, or stolen due to your negligence, you would be liable to him for replacement costs. On the other hand if you give him wirtten notice and a deadline by which time to remove the items, should he fail to do so, you can deem the items as abandoned and then pursue a sale of those items so as to cover your expenses.

Good luck.

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