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Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977: New template notices

September 2018

Businesses may provide services such as:

  • car or other vehicle parking or storage
  • car or other vehicle repair, servicing, recovery, modification or restoration
  • goods storage (e.g. self storage facilities, public cloakroom)
  • goods repairs, refurbishment maintenance or cleaning (e.g. shoe repairs, dry cleaning, re-upholstering)
  • valuation or appraisal of goods (e.g. jewellery, art)

They may on occasions find themselves in the situation of having provided services to a customer in relation to the customer’s goods where the customer fails to collect the goods from them once the services have been completed. The customer may or may not be traceable or contactable. In that situation a business will not simply be able to lawfully sell or dispose of the goods because they are unwilling to provide storage space for them or the goods become a nuisance.

However, Section 12 of the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 provides a notice procedure which can be implemented to enable a business to lawfully sell or dispose of any type of goods owned by a customer.

Our new Sale of Uncollected or Abandoned Goods subfolder contains various template forms of notice which can be used to exercise the rights given by the Section 12 so that the goods can then be disposed of or sold. The subfolder also includes a Guidance Note about the use of these notices and it also explains how and when Section 12 comes into play.

Where a tenant has left goods at premises after expiry of a lease/tenancy agreement, and the landlord wishes to sell or dispose of the goods, see the equivalent forms of notice and Guidance Note which we have just added to our Property folder.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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