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Legal & money

How to remove someone's things from my garage

(90 Posts)
Winterbaby Tue 21-Jun-22 00:05:21

Five years ago my mother allowed a family friend to store items in her garage, supposedly temporarily. When she died her property including the garage passed on to me. The items remained and since I did not need the space immediately I did not press for their removal, although I made it clear that I wanted them taken away at some point. At first the person refused and became belligerant, and then earlier this year said they were making arrangments to take the things elsewhere. I believed them and have been waiting patiently but nothing has happened. I now need the garage urgently for storing my own things. The person insists I have to liase with them and demands to know what I am bringing into the garage - clearly intending to only make limited space available even though I want everything of theirs removed. No payment has ever been made or contract signed for using the space although the garage has been filled from top to bottom and front to back and it is not possible to put anything else in there. I want to know if I have any legal right to have someone else's property taken away by a clearance company, even though I resent the financial outlay and am afraid of any comeback as they have forbidden me to touch anything of theirs. There may be some valuable items in there although to me it looks like a lot of old junk. Can anyone advise the best (and legal) way of going about this?

SueDonim Tue 21-Jun-22 00:14:08

You’d be best consulting a solicitor or Citizen’s advice bureau, I would think. People on GN can’t give cast iron advice as to legalities. Good luck, I hope you get your space back soon!

Shandy57 Tue 21-Jun-22 00:20:31

I'd start charging them for 'renting' your garage. I'm paying £45 per week to put my possessions into storage while my floors are being done, tell them you'll let them rent it for that.

Hetty58 Tue 21-Jun-22 00:28:07

I'd be inclined to have it moved out of the garage - perhaps onto the driveway - inform them, then see if they collect it.

You could (if you want to be kind) give them a few weeks warning of the clearance and a set date by which they have to collect it.

You have no contract whatsoever with them, so no obligation to store or look after their stuff.

tiredoldwoman Tue 21-Jun-22 05:44:46

Gosh , what a weird situation , people controlling your property and life ! Grr.
Yes , a letter of notice and a time limit , politely stated .
They're not friends .

Calendargirl Tue 21-Jun-22 06:34:02

If it were me, I think I would pay to see a solicitor about it, and would hope that a strongly worded letter from them would trigger some action.

What a cheek!

Witzend Tue 21-Jun-22 06:48:57

Since the agreement was (presumably) an informal one, with someone who no longer owns the property, I don’t see that you are under any legal obligation. The person is taking the P.

I’d send a recorded delivery letter giving a date maybe a month ahead, by which time the items must be removed, or else you will dispose of them. I’d also send an email with exactly the same wording. And the same verbally, if poss, so they can’t give the excuse that they didn’t know.

cornergran Tue 21-Jun-22 07:09:48

What an odd situation. It’s hard to think anyone could truly believe they had the right to fill space that doesn’t belong to them. As this person can become belligerent I’d seek legal advice and even ask a solicitor to write to him. It would be worth the cost involved to reclaim both space and peace of mind.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 21-Jun-22 08:28:27

You need to see a solicitor and ask them to send a letter saying that if all the items are not removed by a given date then you will dispose of them and charge the cost of so doing to this person. Don’t attempt to write the letter yourself or to simply get a clearance firm in - you will end up on the wrong side of the law, maybe accused of theft or criminal damage. Do it the right way, through a solicitor, please.

MawtheMerrier Tue 21-Jun-22 08:37:58

And she knows whereof she speaks!

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 21-Jun-22 08:40:19

Make sure you get the keys back as well, or change the locks after it’s all sorted out.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 21-Jun-22 08:45:49

Thanks Maw. Solicitors tend to make a lot more money getting people out of scrapes than helping them to avoid the scrapes in the first place! We don’t bite, honest!

eazybee Tue 21-Jun-22 09:06:43

Definitely follow legal advice.
This family friend seems to be presuming on a friendship with your deceased mother to browbeat you into continuing an arrangement which only benefits them, and won't give up without a fight.

Davida1968 Tue 21-Jun-22 09:19:19

I agree with Germanshepherdsmum - consult a solicitor. This should help you get peace of mind over the whole issue.

lixy Tue 21-Jun-22 09:26:41

Certainly get advice as GSM says. It won't cost as much as sorting out a legal mess afterwards.
My mum rents her garage to someone else in the block as she doesn't have a car -and we went through hoops before finally getting her to see that a friendly agreement just wouldn't do. All properly contracted now thank goodness.

timetogo2016 Tue 21-Jun-22 09:30:23

I think i would have been inclined to tell her that on this date ALL your items will be dropped on your doorstep.

Redhead56 Tue 21-Jun-22 09:30:36

Inform the neighbour you are getting the assistance of someone else to remove the stuff. Put a note through the door if that makes you more comfortable. As you are are not the local storage company you want it gone asap.

It’s your property now you are not a charity and you are not obliged to accommodate their stuff. You don’t need legal representation just a firm voice and the muscle to move the stuff.

MawtheMerrier Tue 21-Jun-22 09:31:50

On which subject (frivolously) I have the contents of DD3 and SIL’s loft before they did their loft extension. It takes up about the same space as a small family car but up to the roof (plus stuff in the rafters).
They’ll never take that back - not until they sell up and move to a bigger house with its own garage - and even then….?
DIL joked that he was just going to leave it there but wiped the smile off his face when I reminded him who was going to have to clear the garage- and the loft- when I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Serendipity22 Tue 21-Jun-22 09:33:47

Wow ! How unsettling for you and how damn rude of these people who are abusing your kindness. Just for the fact their attitude is beyond belief, I would do everything with the law on my side so that they can't get 1 over on me, because it seems their type of character would love to do just that.

GSM knows precisely what she is talking about, get that letter sent to them.....pronto.

All the best........smile

Farzanah Tue 21-Jun-22 09:34:06

You must be a very patient person to have put up with this Winterbaby.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 21-Jun-22 09:37:36

Redhead, there is an entire garage full of stuff - heaven knows what. It can't simply be dumped on the owner's doorstep. OP needs to have the strength of the law behind her, not directed towards her as it will be if she follows your advice. She needs to consult a solicitor, not try to take any action herself.

nadateturbe Tue 21-Jun-22 09:44:48

What GSM said.
People are unbelievable!

nanna8 Tue 21-Jun-22 10:03:05

Tell them you are going to clear it all out by the end of the week. Do you have hard rubbish collections ? I’d be putting it out kerbside.

25Avalon Tue 21-Jun-22 10:05:07

I agree see a solicitor. If you sling their things out on the drive and they get stolen or damaged then you could be liable. You could send them a letter by signed delivery advising they have so many days to remove their property from yours or it will be disposed of, but probably best to check with Citizen’s Advice or solicitor.

Gongoozler Tue 21-Jun-22 10:13:16

Can’t understand the cheek of some people!!
Do take GSM’s advice.