Trailer on my land

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Trailer on my land

I have property that I own. A friend of mine put a trailer on 1 piece of my land; he died about 1 1/2 years ago. His son has left the trailer on my land since then but said that he was going to move it. He cleaned out everything that he wanted from the trailer, including the wiring and copper pipes, and made a huge mess outside. Someone broke into the trailer 8 months ago. The son wasn’t back until last month, so animals got into the home. Now, he is blaming me for breaking in and suing me for $8000. Can he win? I would think since he didn’t move it for almost 2 years and I told him over and over to move it, that it is technically my property.

Asked on June 15, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) It is not technically your property. While there are ways to take over property abandoned on your land, you have to provide proper notice to the owner and comply with statutory requirements, which you  have not done; therefore, you did not take over ownership.
2) However, you are NOT responsible for it unless you specifically agreed to keep it safe *and* he paid or gave or promised you something in return for keeping it safe, thus creating a contractual obligation to take care of it. A property owner is NOT liable for damage to other person's property on his land unless the property owner was at fault in damaging it (e.g. drove his vehicle into it; didn't cut down a dead tree leaning over it, which fell on it; etc.) or, as stated, agreed contratually to protect the property. His property is HIS responsibility, not yours. Based on what you write, if he sues you, you would expect to win.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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