Washington, DC asked in Civil Litigation and Municipal Law for Maryland

Q: How long do I have to legally hold my exes belongings before I can get rid of the stuff?

I live in Hagerstown Maryland and my ex left some of his belongings in my apartment and he was not on the lease. It has been 50 days and I have asked him numerous times to get his belongings and he has not come to get it.

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Assuming there is not some other written agreement or court order that specifically addresses the issue, you should send a final, written notice by any (or multiple) means likely to reach your ex, that he must make immediate arrangements with you to pick up his belongings at a mutuall agreeable time, or you will deem them abandoned and yours to dispose of by any means you choose after "XX" days. The number of days should be reasonable, but more than 30 days is beyond reasonable. In cases where he is nearby, and the items do not require a moving truck and movers, 7-10 days may be reasonable. To protect yourself, make a written inventory and take photographs of the items. This way, once you have disposed of the items when he fails to respond to your notice, you will have evidence to defend his false claims about the number, nature and value of the items when he sues you down the road for throwing out more items than he actually left or he claims they were worth tens of thousands of dollars. I've seen this scenario play out enough times to make this recmmendation, as unbelievable and unlikely as it may seem to you now.

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