Can I dispose of my ex-girlfriend’s belongings?

I ended a relationship with my live-in girlfriend in September 2011. She moved out 9/28/11. She left a lot of her belongings behind, and refuses to retrieve them. Can I legally start throwing her stuff out at this point(almost 6 months)? Should I draft a letter stating “if you don’t retrieve your belongings by x/x/xx they will be discarded”? If so, what is an acceptable time frame? Her stuff needs to go ASAP!

Asked on March 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Good question. If you former girlfriend has vacated the unit she was sharing with you and has no inent to return leaving behind personal belongings, you have the following options:

1. if the items left behind are worth less than $300, you can dispose of them any way you want after you give her in writing one last opportunity to retrieve them by a certain date and fails to do so;

2. if the items collectively exceed $300, I would place them at an offsite storage facility in her name and send her the lease letting her know that she needs to pay the rent for the items and if not, the storage facility will sell the items to pay the due rent.


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