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Possessions in my home which do not belong to me! Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977

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First off, I didn't realise that forums like this existed and have already found some great discussions! I am a relative newbie to all of this, so thanks in advance for the help/tips.


I have been storing some belongings for a friend for several months now in my home. They have remained in bags in my living room and there are around 6-7 blacksacks of goods there. Due to unfortunate circumstances our friendship has ended, however I still have the items in my house. I am attempting to get the chap to come and collect the items, however he is being suprisingly unwilling to claim them. We only ever had a verbal agreement that he can store the items in my home, as friends would. I am in email contact with this guy (has no fixed address) and have provided him with an inventory of all the items he has left.


I have come across the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 which appears helpful for this type of situation. However, there are clear rules within this tort that relate to getting rid of the items as long as there is no dispute. Now that there is a dispute I am slightly lost as to what to do. The house will be put up for sale ASAP and I expect to be gone within the next few months ... I do not what to spend any money on moving his gear with me and I wish to cut all ties with him.


FYI there are a few of his belongings which are worth a considerable amount of money.


He has advised that he does not want his items disposed of (naturally). Last week he said that he would not collect any of the items unless he also recieves 3 items which we had a shared interest in. I replied to this and advised that I am willing to relinquish any interest I have in the shared items and he can take them aswell (these cost me around £300, however I am happy to give them to him to get him out). Now he's come back again and said he will not collect any of the items as there are some missing from the inventory. I am confident that this is not true, and perhaps a hope to keep the items in my home free of charge (as he has no fixed address). He was never a lodger in my home and we had no formal agreement for storage of these items. It was simply a favour I offered him at the time.


Please can anyone help with some guidance/advice on how I can handle this situation as the Tort stipulates the rules for selling/disposing of items only where there is no dispute.


Many thanks

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I wouldn't worry about the 1977 Act.


Just send him a message TELLING him that his stuff will be put out on the street in x days at y time. Give him at least 7 days notice to arrange transport etc, and ignore any further contact from him. Then do it!

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I don't think you are right to say that the Act only applies where there is no dispute. There is a reference to dispute in section 7(3) but this seems to only cover payment disputes (i.e. where your friend owes money but disputes whether that money is due).


It seems to me that section 13 and Schedule 1 of the Act would allow you to sell the goods, provided that you had given him a notice which complies with Schedule 1.


You might not wish to go through the bother of selling it though ... in which case you might as well follow the advice given by CrappoMan. There is always a risk he might claim against you for the goods but I doubt a judge would be sympathetic and to be honest if he has no fixed address I doubt he would be in a position to sue you anyway.




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