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We let neighbors put some of their property in our basement

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We let neighbors put some of their property in our basement when they were evicted from their house following foreclosure. This was promised to be temporary, back in Oct 2012. They brought some more stuff last week but we haven't heard from them since, no address, no contact available to us. What can we do? Do we own these items after a certain amount of time? We are in Georgia. The neighbor was an attorney!


Hello, Thanks for choosing! I look forward to helping you with legal information today.


You said that they just brought some more stuff over to store in your basement last week? Did you allow them to do that? If so, did you happen to have a conversation with them at that time about when they were planning to remove their things? Thanks so much!

Customer: Yes, their plan is to sell as much as possible at the sub-division yard sale on May 4th and to get the rest out as soon as they are settled back together as a family. We just want to be prepared if it starts to drag on or if they don't return for the yard sale. We don't want to profit from their mistakes nor do we want to be left with a problem because of our kindness.

I understand, thank you. What you have here is a bailment situation. Bailment describes a legal relationship in common law where physical possession of personal property, or a chattel, is transferred from one person (the 'bailor') to another person (the 'bailee') who subsequently has possession of the property. It arises when a person gives property to someone else for safekeeping, and is a cause of action independent of contract or tort.


If you, as the bailee, do not use reasonable care in the safe-keeping of your neighbor's (bailor) things, they can actually hold you accountable for any damages as a result.


In any case, with regard to if they abandon the property, you still would have to given then a written notice saying they had to come and get their things within 30 days or that they would forfeit them.


If they did not get them after the 30 day time period was up, you could assume there things are your own or start charging a storage fee for them.




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Thanks for the advice. I will prepare a letter to send to them (certified) if I find an address hand to them. I will hand it to them, with witnesses, if and when I see them.

LADYLAWYER : Yes, make sure it is certified or that you have witnesses.

Thanks, again.

LADYLAWYER : I have enabled the rating system now. If you need anything further, please just let me know! Thanks again for using!
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