what action, if any, can i take against a business for not returning personal property

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

what action, if any, can i take against a business for not returning personal property

I left behind an item at a hotel and had been in contact with the location to
have my property returned to me. i was told my item was found and being sent out.
however after almost 3 months I have yet to receive anything not even an
explanation. I have continuously reached out to the hotel to find out what is
going on to no response of any form.

Asked on January 3, 2018 under Business Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They have to return it to you if it was in their possession, but did not have to pay to return it: you would either have to pick it up or provide a fed ex account, postage prepaid shipping box, etc. for it. They are under no obligation to spend their money to ship back your item, and so would not have to send it out until you arranged for the shipping.
If they have lost the item, you could sue them for it's value, though you'd have to prove they lost it through their carelessness or an act ordered by management (e.g. to throw it out): they are not liable if someone stole it from the hotel (even if an employee did: an employer is not liable for the criminal acts of its staff unless the employer caused the criminal act in some way) or if they tried to mail, etc. it back and it was lost by the USPS or UPS, Fed Ex, etc. It may be difficult to prove how the item was lost or their responsibility for it, and even if you can, it might not be economically worthwhile to bring a legal action.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption