What procedure to take in getting back rental property from a customer?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What procedure to take in getting back rental property from a customer?

I own a Bridal shop and rent tuxedos. I have a customer that has never returned the property for 9 months and they will not return the property. They will not answer the phone now and will not return phone messages left. The tuxedo company is now charging me full price for the suit and shoes. How do I proceed in getting them to cooperate.

Asked on February 18, 2017 under Business Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You sue them: you would sue them for the greater of the value/cost of the tuxedo and shoes or for any amounts they would owe due to the nonreturn (e.g. if under the rental terms, they owe an additional per diem amount for each day late, and the aggregate of those charges exceeds the cost/value of the items). The lawsuit--which could be brought in small claims court--could then be settled or resolved by the return of the items in good condition--or if they can't be so returned, by the payment of money.

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