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Throw out ex-p belongings - when are you allowed to do this?

(12 Posts)
Lindax Thu 16-Oct-08 22:05:02

SIL threw partner out of house last Xmas eve after 5 years together due to inappropriate behaviour with her 14yr old dd. He left behind the bulk of his belongings, she has left messages on his mobile, with his family to make arrangements for someone to pick up his belongings but noone will respond.

He is now on remand awaiting trial for the issue with her dd.

Been an awful time for her and she wants to move on but finds it hard with all his stuff in her home. She has spoken to a solicitor a couple of times and they only tell her they will write to his solicitor and ask him to arrange pickup, this has been going on for months now (and every letter cost money!). Solicitor says she could be done with criminal damage if she throws his belongings out, she has asked how long she needs to keep it for if he doesnt make arrangements and they wont give her a firm answer. Anyone know where she stands, or got any advice to help?

scaryteacher Thu 16-Oct-08 22:14:28

Put it into storage (at a self store place) and pay for a couple of months; send the bill to his solicitor, and then change the billing address with the storage place.

hecAteTheirBrains Thu 16-Oct-08 22:15:13

What if she wrote a letter saying that he must collect his belongings by such and such a date, and if he does not do so, and does not make any contact before that date to make other arrangements, she will assume that he has abandoned the property and will dispose of it.

If she sent that recorded, with a copy to his solicitor, then surely she has covered herself?

- I am NOT a solicitor, this is not knowledgeable LEGAL advice, it is just an idea, I wondered if such a letter would be considered enough.

I also think that her solicitor probably won't give her a firm answer because s/he wants to keep raking in the money from writing endless letters!!

Freckle Thu 16-Oct-08 22:16:09

Hmm, it's an awkward situation. When you are in possession of someone else's property, you are what is known as a baillee and you have a duty to ensure that no harm comes to the property. However, I don't think you are expected to look after it for evermore.

Your SIL should get her solicitor to write to his stating that, unless he makes arrangements to collect his stuff within 14 days, she will package it up and donate it to a charity shop as she will have no alternative but to assume he no longer wants it.

Does she know his family's address? His solicitor's address? She could always bag it all up and dump it with them and give them the problem.

sweeneytodd Thu 16-Oct-08 22:16:57

Can she not ask his family to take his belongings?

Simplysally Thu 16-Oct-08 22:19:03

I'd dump it at his solicitors place and let them sort it out! Possibly Hecate's suggestions is better. She absolutely must not damage them in anyway, like put a laptop in the garden and let it get wet or throw a priceless vase at a wall even if he hasn't made any efforts to collect them.

FWIW, I left some stuff in my ex bf's flat and refused his calls for a while. He threw out what was there - mainly clothes and a few knick knacks for my daughter. Infuriating as they were 'spares' for me but not worth getting my knickers in a twist over.

twentynine Thu 16-Oct-08 22:20:46

It's his stuff and she can't destroy it but she can give him notice to remove it (usually 28 days is considered reasonable). Does he have a mum she could have it all taken to - she's more likely to force him into removing it.

If he's incarcerated he may have a hard time removing it or getting it removed though, so I would suggest she get in touch with whereever he's on remand, write to the centre to notify them that his stuff will be sold if it is not collected within 28 days. When that time is up, get a house clearance company to sell it and send a cheque to him for that amount.

FAQ Thu 16-Oct-08 22:20:51

think you need Lou33 for this one - seem to recall she had an issue with her ExH's stuff being left at her home.......

Lindax Thu 16-Oct-08 22:30:55

He's been evading arrest, no fixed abode, for a while so cant write directly to him.

Bail address was his mothers, but she hasnt seen or heard from him. His solicitor didnt know where he was until police caught up with him this week and he is now on remand as he did show up a court when he was due to lodge his plea of guilty/not guilty in September.

As he's locked up at the momment and family arent in contact he cant make arrangements to move stuff.

His parents are elderly and live middle England (we are in scotland), they are very upset about the situation too and she doesnt want to dump it with them. As they were together 5 years, there is a good luton vans worth of stuff its not just a couple of bags.

Simplysally Thu 16-Oct-08 22:35:39

If he's been arrested/on remand he probably won't have any income to pay self-storage fees then.

Lindax Thu 16-Oct-08 22:46:15

he's got an army disability pension so could pay for it, but dont know how he would make arrangements.

was hoping the solicitor would open up his big law book and say - after 1 year of leaving the belongs behind and after SIL making all reasonable attempts to ask him to remove them she was entitled to dispose off. Why cant it be that simple? (other than solicitors need to make money!)

twentynine Thu 16-Oct-08 22:46:18

Doesn't matter if he doesn't get it. You send it to his mum's, that is the address the court has been advised he's at. 28 days later get the house clearance boys in and send the cheque to his mum - preferably payable to her because then she is responsible for passing it on, or not.

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