If someone leaves their personal property in your home for more than 90 days is it then considered yours?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If someone leaves their personal property in your home for more than 90 days is it then considered yours?

I have a friend that stored her washer and dryer in my garage. It now has been 4
months and she still has not picked them up, she owes me 500 on a personal loan
and has not paid. I have requested several times by text for her to get her
washer and dryer out and to pay me the loan back. No longer friends. She says she
is going to list the washer and dryer online for sell and give my address. I am a
single mom and do not want strangers at my home. I wanted to know at what point
does the property become mine. Please help, what can I do?

Greensboro, North Carolina

Asked on February 19, 2018 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It never becomes yours: leaving property at another's home does not give you the right to it, and nor does that person owing you money.
But you also don't need to allow her to keep storing it there or allow anyone to come to your home. You are under no legal obligation to store another's property.
Tell your "friend" in writing, sent some way that you can prove delivery, that under no circumstances may she use your address in an ads or send any buyers to your home--that if she does (1) you will NOT speak to or interact with the buyers and (2) you will file a police report against her for harassment. In the letter, also tell your "friend" that she has ten (10) business days to pick up the washer and dryer or you will leave them outside as garbage. (A good idea is to email and text, as an attachment, the letter as well as certified mail, to make sure she gets it right away.) In the letter, also relate the history of how long she was left the items there and your attempts to get her to pick them up.
Finally, you can tell her that if she does not repay the $500, you will sue her in small claims court--that is how you legally get money which another owes you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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