How can I make my ex partner pick up her property from our storage unit? If she doesn't, can I throw it out?

Question Details: I broke up with my ex two months ago. She says she's getting a Protection Order against me. I pay for the rental on my storage unit (it's in my name) but she won't clean out her stuff, and now she's not answering my calls or texts. I want to put her stuff out on the street, but the police say if I do and it gets damaged, they'll charge me with wilful damage. What can I do?

Filed under Property Law | 3703 View(s)

Are you a lawyer? Login or register to answer this question.

Answers by Lawyers

Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

We certainly do not recommend throwing out her property or putting it on the street. We believe the police are right that you could be risking a charge of wilful damage. "Wilful damage" under the Summary Offences Act includes damaging property by being reckless with it.

Given that your ex is considering applying for a protection order, it is especially important that you conduct yourself in a way that is not aggressive. That includes how you deal with her property. We suggest you contact a mutual friend, or a family member, to arrange the removal of her possessions. Because of the possible protection order application, we repeat that it is important that you do this in a careful and reasonable way.

Read more about protection orders (including your rights to challenge a protection order) by clicking on this link: www.communitylaw.org.nz. If a protection order is made, you must not contact your ex, even through someone else, so we suggest talking to a lawyer about getting the property back to her.

Answered 20 Aug 2012. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The answer provided above is intended for general informational purposes only and cannot be considered a substitute for face-to-face legal advice. It should not be relied upon as the sole basis for taking action in relation to a legal issue. Laws change frequently, and small variations in the facts, or a fact not provided in the question, can often change a legal outcome or a lawyer’s conclusion. No liability whatsoever is accepted by the authors or publishers of the answer, for loss, damage or inconvenience arising in any way from the use of this site. While each answer has been published by a lawyer with a practising certificate, that person may not necessarily have experience in the particular area of law involved.

For more information about this website, please review our Terms of Use.