Dear LH, My ex stored his stuff in my garage but has never lived here. It's been there several years and he refuses to move it. I need the space. I am not Kennards. He is charming on the surface but is a deadly liar as he has proven in the past. I want his stuff out. Can I sell it or what? Incidentally, he says if I go near his place he will call the police. Thanks, Over The Edge
Garage sale picture from Shutterstock
Sounds like a messy breakup! In most states and territories, non-perishable goods need to be kept in storage for at least 14 days after you’ve notified the owner to come and collect them. (If you're interested, you can find an overview of the specific rules here.)
However, the above law is usually only applicable to former homeowners or tenants who left their things behind after moving out. If your ex never actually lived on your property, you have no legal obligation to store his junk — especially several years after parting ways.
With that said, it's probably not a good idea to sell them. This goes doubly if you ex is the vindictive/litigious type. Once you sell something for money, it's difficult to argue that it was worthless clutter that you wanted to get rid of. In short, you aren't obligated to store it, but that doesn't mean it becomes your property: it still technically belongs to your ex.
Our advice is to make one final attempt to arrange retrieval with your ex. Make the request via email or text message so there's a written record of the exchange.
If he agrees, arrange for a mutual third-party to be home so you don't have to see him face to face. If he refuses to collect his stuff, wait the nominal 14 days and then either donate the goods to charity or dispose of them in a lawful manner. (Or if you like to live dangerously, get someone to dump them in his front yard.) Good luck!
If any readers have additional tips or anecdotes to share, please let OTE know in the comments.
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