What to do about property left behind after a lease has expired?

UPDATED: Dec 5, 2011

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What to do about property left behind after a lease has expired?

We had leased land to someone for cattle. When the lease expired a year ago, he moved his cattle and took most of his property out of our pastures. He left a large fence panel behind. We left him a message to come get it but he never even responded. So we started using the panel about 6 months later. Now one year later, he is saying that it is his panel and wants it back. We thank it is ours because it has been so long. Who’s is it? We are using the panel as a gate to replace a gate that his cattle broke if that makes any difference.

Asked on December 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the former tenant for the pasture has come back seeking the large fence panel that he left behind, it is his even though it has been a year of so post move out. I would give him the panel and have him sign a receipt for it before he loads it up.

You could have deemed the panel abandoned had he not come back and claimed it as his property.

As to the damaged gate that his cattle broke, you can charge him for the replacement or repairs depending upon its condition.


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