How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102342
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My girlfriend moved out 15 months ago. She got married 5

Customer Question

My girlfriend moved out 15 months ago. She got married 5 months after moving out. She lives in another state now. She left 8 big boxes of personal items in my garage. She says she doesn't have the money to have me ship them to her out of state. I have not been charging her storage. I told her if she doesn't make arrangements within 30 days that I will donate her belongings to Goodwill. Do I have a legal obligation to hold on to them longer than I already have?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

She was what is termed a "tenant at sufferance" when she lived with you, so landlord/tenant law applies even if she was not paying rent.

Per Civil Code § 1983 et seq, the landlord must send a notice to the place the tenant is expected to receive it that (1) describes the property in sufficient detail for the tenant to identify it, (2) advises him that he has 15 days (18 days if the notice is mailed) to claim it, (3) appraises him of reasonable storage costs, and (4) tells him where to claim the property.

The notice must also inform him that unclaimed property of value will be sold at a public sale and property believed to be worth less than $300 will be kept, sold, or destroyed.

After deductions for storage, advertising, and the sale, landlords must turn over to the county any residual proceeds.

So that may be done, but only after she receives proper notice in writing and does not pick up the items before the deadline.

Let me know if you need a sample letter.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.