How long does a prior owner have to get theirpersonal propertybefore it belongs to the new owner?

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How long does a prior owner have to get theirpersonal propertybefore it belongs to the new owner?

I bought a trailer over a month ago. The people I bought it from left the washer behind. Now they are trying to get it back. In the sale the dryer was on the agreement to be left for me but there was no mention of the washer. But after weeks of them not coming to get it I assume that the washer is mine. What exactly does the law state and where can I find it?

Asked on July 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

New York state law is kind of funny because of the huge number of financial institutions and large apartment buildings in the cities. A huge number of lobbying has gone into these elaborate laws but from what I can see, the general provisions and miscellaneous section of the New York abandonment laws apply herein and that means the true owner has two years to claim said property. So, here, if the washer was not part of the sale, it could simply mean that the owners had to find space or time to pick it up. I don't believe a transaction over a month ago is going to give rise to abandonment. It is their washer and they legally should have it back.


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