If my girlfriend walked out and left me to pay all the bills alone as everything is in my name anyway, how long do I have to keep her stuff?

Asked on July 26, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The law does not say exactly how long to keep a co-tenant's or guest's belongings, the same way it specifies how long a landlord must keep a tenant's belongings. But following the same basic rules as a landlord would is a good idea. Send her a letter or letters, send some way or ways you can prove delivery--e.g. text and email her, being sure to print out and keep the messages with the data that shows they went through; fax; certified mail; etc. You can also first class mail her, and if you don't have have a current address, send to her last address with "please forward" written on the envelop. (If 1st class mail does not come back as undeliverable, the law presumes it was delivered.) The idea is to show that you made every reasonable effort to contact her. In the letter, give her 30 days to pick up her belongings. If she does not, then after that period, you should be able to dispose of her belongings.

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