What to do if the main office in my rental complex received a valuable package for me but they gaveit to someone else?

UPDATED: Jun 25, 2011

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What to do if the main office in my rental complex received a valuable package for me but they gaveit to someone else?

The package contained $5,000 worth of items. Per the lease agreement, the one who comes to pick up a package must show a valid photo ID and must sign the logbook verifying they received their package. My package was signed for by someone who I don’t know neither does the office. The office refused to compensate me and they failed to find the package. What can I do?

Asked on June 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the landlord, for starters, for the theft of your belongings. The landlord is responsible for the actions of its employees, done duriing the course of their employment. While it appears that you do not know whether it was the landlord's employee who signed for an took the package, you could sue--since it's a reasonable supposition, good enough to initially file a lawsuit, if the package was delivered to some area under the landlord's control, like the rental office or to a doorman or a mailroom--and then, during the lawsuit, you could use the legal process known as "discovery" to attempt to find more information to prove that it was a staff member. Or if you then discover it was another person, you could sue that person for the return of the package or its value.

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