Abandonment of T's uncollected goods; disposal by L?

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    Abandonment of T's uncollected goods; disposal by L?

    1. The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 replaces an earlier (1952) scheme. It applies only to E&W and NI (not Scotland).

    2. For these purposes, disregard s.1-s.11. They chiefly deal with conversion/trespass re goods and circumstances such as not collecting the shoes which you left for the cobbler to repair!

    3. Focus on s.12, s.13, and Act's Schedule. These deal with goods left with someone else when the owner of the goods does a flit.

    4. The Act uses the technical terms BAILOR and BAILEE. The former is the person in possession/control of the goods; the latter is the owner of the goods. Let's call them L and T, for convenience.

    5. Section 12 and Part I of Schedule apply, for L&T purposes, if:
    a. T is in breach of obligation to take delivery of goods; or
    b. L cannot trace or contact T to impose such obligation.

    6. If L's duty as custodian of goods has ended, he can give Notice to T in writing (specifying L's name/address, location of goods, that goods are available for collection, and amount owed by T). If by post, Notice is sent to T's last known address.

    7. If L serves Notice but T does not reply (or L cannot serve Notice, after taking reasonable steps to locate T), and L is reasonably satisfied that T owns them, L is entitled to sell them under the Act's procedures. L owes T the sale proceeds less:
    a. costs of sale; and
    b. whatever T owes L (to set-off).

    8. L can ask a Court to authorise sale terms, under s.13, but this is not necessary unless:
    a. L wishes to have Court Order's protection against T; or
    b. there is a subsisting L-T dispute which prevents L exercising power of sale otherwise.

    9. To sell them, L must serve another Notice on T- Part II of the Schedule- on same lines as in 6 above but, this time, by Rec. Del. L must give T sufficient advance warning of date of sale so that T has reasonable chance to take delivery (at least three months, if T owes money to L which will be set-off against sale proceeds).
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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