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Ask Barrister Your Own Question

Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 22691
Experience:  14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
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I was eviced from my home in July 2010. A Property preservation

Customer Question

I was eviced from my home in July 2010. A Property preservation company (REO) was hired to take posession of pack and move my personal property from my home toa storage facility. I did not contract withthem to move, however they were to pack all of my property, and move it from the house. Not all of my furniture or personal items including boat , jet ski, cars and motorcyle, along with documents old bank records etc.. were moved. There was no attempt to make arrangements with me to pick up or be advised that items were left behind. At the time the company advertised on the Internet that they were fully licensed, and insured. After researching via NJ Division of Consumer affairs, the company was not a licensed moving company, they only obtained the proper NJ Movers licenses in 2011. I have lost furniture, old financial documents etc.. and several items are still sitting inthe driveway of the house ruined. The movers, excuse me LAndscaping serioce has been unresponsive told me to go take a hike and get a lawyer, do I have any legal options to regain any of my losses, based on their lack of proper licensing, adn insurance, the tree service only carries a $5000. loss provision under their policy, even for a landscaping company seems very low. These guys have been at this since 2009, and only properly licensed in 2011. Do I have any case, I have complained to the state and filed a claim with their carrier ( only took me two years to find out that info) Insurance company and can not proceed any further on my own , I lost the house but what ever I had left was left behind .
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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Once a tenant has been evicted, under NJ law, the landlord must remove and store any personal property left on the premises and send a written notice certified mail to the tenant's last known address giving them at least 30 days to reclaim the property before it is considered abandoned.
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The notice must state that the property is considered abandoned and must be removed from the premises or from the place of safekeeping (if the landlord moved the property to a storage facility), not less than 30 days from the date of delivery of the notice or 33 days from the date of mailing (whichever comes first), for all property other than manufactured or mobile homes. The notice must also state that if the abandoned property is not removed by the deadline, the landlord may either: (a) sell the property at a public or private sale; or (b) destroy it or throw it out if the landlord reasonably determines that the amount realized from the sale would exceed the storage costs and the costs of conducting a public sale; or (c) sell items of value and dispose of the remaining property. Finally, the notice must advise residential tenants that if the tenant claims the property within the time provided in the notice, the landlord must make the property available for removal by the tenant without payment by the tenant of any unpaid rent.
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Once a landlord notifies the tenant that it intends to dispose of the property, the landlord is obligated to store the property in a place of safekeeping and exercise reasonable care. Any other types of property may be stored by the landlord elsewhere on the premises or in a safe location off premises, and the landlord is entitled to reasonable storage charges and incidental costs. If the landlord elects to store the property in a commercial storage facility, the tenant will be responsible for the actual storage charge as well as the reasonable cost of moving the property to the storage facility.

A tenant that removes his property from the premises must reimburse the landlord for the reasonable storage costs incurred by the landlord, including the reasonable cost of moving the property to a storage facility. However, the storage costs may not be greater than the fair market value of such costs in the area where the leased property is located. If a landlord complies with the act, the landlord is not responsible for any loss to a tenant resulting from storage of property, unless the loss was caused by the landlord’s deliberate or negligent act or omission.
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If the landlord never sent the notice, then you would have up to 6 years to file suit against them for breach of contract and injury to personal property. Since you weren't in contract with the movers, the landlord would be the one responsible since he hired them if they didn't properly move and store the property if it was taken off premises. The landlord would be liable for any losses if they didn't comply with the law about storing the property and taking reasonalbe care of it.
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However, if the landlord did send the notice and can prove they did so, then even if you didn't get it, they would have complied with the law and after 30 days could consider the property abandoned and dispose of it or sell it and apply any proceeds to any costs they incurred and for back rent and fees. A public or private sale must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 12A:9-601
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So at this point, your recourse would be to file suit against the landlord for any losses and force him to prove that he did send the appropriate notice that the property would be abandoned after 30 days and that any sale was conducted in accordance with NJ law if there was a sale.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 22691
Experience: 14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
Barrister and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I was the homeowner, who was foreclosed on not the tennant.


 


The "movers" were not licensed as movers under NJ Omnibusdmand Act, since 2009. they were probably not properly insured, even as landscapers/ tree service.


 


Do I have a case against them to sue for recovery of my lost property, and damages as I have to replace my furniture, the cars, boat etc were for lack of a better word stolen from the driveway. They left behind many of my posessions, furniture and documents.


 


I was homeowner who was evicted, the police etc represented these people as movers, I turned over control and posession as required to this group. They had sole responsibiity for the protection and care of my stuff.


 


Is there a case ?

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, whether you were the owner or a tenant, the law would still be the same with regard to the obligation to remove or take reasonable measures to protect the property.
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Do I have a case against them to sue for recovery of my lost property, and damages as I have to replace my furniture, the cars, boat etc were for lack of a better word stolen from the driveway.
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I would opine that yes, you could join them as a co-defendant along with the subsequent owner of the property for failing to properly protect your property. The person who hired them bears ultimate liability under the doctrine of "respondeat superior" which means that the principle is liable for the actions of their agents.
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Thanks.

Barrister

.

.

If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

.

I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

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