What to do about abandoned tools left on my back patio by an unlicensed contractor?

Tools include: a welder, hand held propane tanks, multiple table saws and a tile saw, air compressor and multiple buckets of hand tools. These tools are not what one would use for a planting project or privacy fence lattice work that I had spoken to with this unlicensed person. I have heard from this person approximately every 6 to 8 weeks when he tells me, “I’m working out of town and I’ll be around soon”. I have yet to know when he may come for his tools. I fear they are stolen and I am keeping stolen goods at my house. When are these tools considered my property and I can dispose of them?

Asked on September 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are concerned that the tools that have been left at your proeprty by your unlicensed contractor who has yet to pick them up after requests by you to do so, you should immediately contact law enforcement about your suspicions a have them come by your home to hopefully impound the items and take them to police headquarters for safekeeping pending an investigation as to the items impounded.

By doing this, you have the items taken away from your property and no longer have the worry as to their legal or illegal status. Once the tools are in the possession of law enforcement, any liability that you may have as to their presence on your property ends.

Good luck.

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