If I gave someone a gift, can they charge me for storage fees?

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If I gave someone a gift, can they charge me for storage fees?

About 2 years ago I bought my ex-boyfriend a motorcycle as a gift which I financed. After some problems, we broke up. I continued to make the payments and he continued to keep the motorcycle. Now he is saying he wants the title. I still have 2 years worth on the loan so I told him he doesn’t get the title unless he pays the remainder of the loan. He is refusing to do so and is now threatening to take me to small claims court for storage fees of the bike because he wants to sell it and its taking up space in his garage. He says he’s charging me $60 a month for the past 2 years. Will he win?

Asked on May 4, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) You boyfriend can't charge you for storage fees for a gift you gave him--not unless paying the storage was part of the gift. Since it's stored in his own garage and you haven't paid these fees previously, it's *highly* unlikely that he could charge you the fees.

2) However, if the bike was a gift, then whether you paid it all up front or financed it, you can't charge him for the rest of the loan now. The recipient does *not* have to pay for a gift. From what you write, it more be the case that the bike is your bike, which you've been letting your boyfriend use. If that's the case, you can offer to "sell" it to him for his taking over the rest of the payments. Note that even if it's held to be your bike, he can't retroactively charge you for storage if there was not agreement...though he can charge you storage fees going forward.


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