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Advice on how to give ex her stuff back, or what to do?

(5 Posts)
JammyGem Tue 19-Apr-16 13:00:56

DH and I currenly live in the flat that he used to live in with his ex. She left for South Africa a few years ago and left quite a lot of her stuff behind. Most if it is being stored in the communal garage, but it does take up a lot of room. There is also sentimental stuff like her family jewellery, which is why I really would like to get it back to her.

We have both tried contacting her about it, but she doesn't pick up the phone and instead we receive texts and messages saying that she's not who we think she is, most likely the person we're trying to get hold of has died, and that she's got the recycled number of who we're looking for. I can categorically say that this is her lying, she has not died, it is her number - without going into details, we have proof it is her. We don't have any addresses or anything, and any facebook messages or emails go unanswered.

We just want to send her stuff back to her, but have no idea how to. DH has tried to get in contact with various members of her family, but there's been no response there either. Unfortunately, she has a history of being rather difficult, and we have been warned that she may turn around later and try to claim we have "stolen" her belongings - apparently she did the same to her ex husband.

I have no idea how we can move forward on this. We are planning to move soon so need to get rid of her stuff, not to mention that I'm not exactly happy that our home is being used to store DH's ex's stuff anyway. We considered taking it to the police as lost property and letting her claim it through them, but the police won't take it. We also contacted a tracing agency to find an address to send it to, but because we have so little information the fee they'd charge is far too expensive for us to afford.

How can we get rid of her stuff, or get it sent to her (without an address), while still protecting ourselves from any claims she may make in the future? Is there a way around this?

Collaborate Tue 19-Apr-16 15:01:28

If you follow strictly the procedure outlined in the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 you can eventually sell the stuff.

Have a loo at this: www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/my-tenant-has-left-some-items-behind-after-the-end-of-their-tenure

It is advice for landlords, who most commonly make use of the Act.

Familylawsolicitor Tue 19-Apr-16 20:57:27

I'm bookmarking that one collaborate!
Just checking the house is not still in the name of the ex though OP?

JammyGem Tue 19-Apr-16 21:50:28

No, it's in DH name.

Thank you so much for the link Collaborate! That's really helpful, I'll have to look into the no find, no fee tracers...

Collaborate Tue 19-Apr-16 22:25:03

I've only ever had cause to use it once myself, professionally. It's quite tiresome, as you need to ensure that the notice is in the prescribed form.

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