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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12508
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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We gave a key to a contract laborer, and he has brought

Customer Question

We gave a key to a contract laborer, and he has brought equiment to our shop and does his work at our shop. We have no rental agreement with him.We pay by the piece he repairs.
He is now angry with us.
We'd also like him to get his stuff while we are on-site and can verify that he's only taking his equiment. He won't want to give us back the key as he won't want to meet that request. It would cost alot to rekey the building. Is there a proper way to demand the key immediately? How much notice do we need to give him to remove his equipment?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

As the key is your property you are entitled to its return upon demand. The law affords someone in this contractor's position a "reasonable" amount of time to return the key before it is considered "conversion," which can be prosecuted as a crime and also civilly pursued for damages (the cost of re-keying the building would be your damage). Therefore, the best course of action would be to immediately request the return of your key in a letter sent via certified mail. The letter should also provide the contractor with 2-3 possible times that they can come and pick up their property along with a warning that the property will be considered abandoned if it is not retrieved within a reasonable period of time (i.e. 3 weeks). The letter can also threaten that you will contact the police if the key is not returned within a specified number of days (i.e. 5 business days). Most people do not want to risk criminal prosecution and other legal problems over something like this, so the letter will likely accomplish your goals here.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.