What to do if we had to leave a boat out of state when I lost my job there and now the landlord will not tell us what he did with it?

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What to do if we had to leave a boat out of state when I lost my job there and now the landlord will not tell us what he did with it?

We had a boat that we had to leave temporarily in another state at the house we rented while we moved back to our home state after I lost my job. I informed the landlord I would remove it once I could financially afford it. As time went on I was not able to land a job for over 3 months. During this time we had no choice but to file bankruptcy and the boat was part of that as well as the amount the landlord was charging us for breaking the lease. The Chapter 7 bakruptcy went through and we were discharged. In the meantime this landlord did something with the boat and is unwilling to tell us.

Asked on May 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you owned the boat that was left at your landlord's unit temporarily and you were not given notice of his or her intent to dispose of the boat as an abandoned item, your landlord would be responsible to you for the fair market value of the boat at the time of his or her disposal of it assuming the landlord got rid of it and not some third party.

In such a matter, you have the burden of proving that the landlord wrongfully disposed of your boat and establishing its fair market value assuming you wish to file a lawsuit against your former landlord.

If you did not have legal title to the boat and your obligation as to it was discharged in a bankruptcy that you have written about, you really have no damages under the law to complain about with respect to the boat.


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