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I'm leaving some things (a suitcase and a computer) with a friend of a friend for a month, so I don't really know the person too well.

I have some sketchy feelings about leaving my stuff with them but there isn't really a choice (can't leave it at home and no storage facility nearby, and can't take it with me).

We're going to write a contract, but I'm just curious about what I can really do legally if he claims he never gave me something (like the computer) or I found out something I kept with him ended up damaged.

Is there something in the contract we can formulate so he's held responsible? What if he refuses to pay for theft/damages?

  • What consideration are you giving your friend of a friend for storing your items? If nothing, any contract is unlikely to be considered valid. If something, the consideration could be made dependent (or partially dependent) on safe return. – ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere Oct 24 '19 at 15:19
  • I'm paying him 30$ to keep my stuff in his room for the month. The conditions in the contract are that he needs to reimburse me if anything is damaged or stolen. But if something is damaged and he refuses to pay (tears up the contract) what can I actually do? What are the steps? – n_1 Oct 24 '19 at 15:57
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The best thing to do is don't put yourself and your property into a sketchy position; find a legitimate ministorage business.

But failing that, have a clear, written contract with the friend of a friend for payment for services rendered, i.e. money for storage and safety of your property.

Is there something in the contract we can formulate so he's held responsible?

Write that he is responsible for the security of your property for the duration into the contract.

What if he refuses to pay for theft/damages?

Outright theft means filing a complaint with the police; but the local attorney may not prosecute for small amounts of property; in that case, you could go to small claims court (see below).

For property damage, your recourse is civil court, which probably means small claims court, depending on your jurisdiction. Google "small claims court" and your city/county to learn more about how to file a lawsuit. if you have a clear contract, evidence that you placed the property with the friend of a friend for safe storage, etc., you should prevail. Getting a monetary settlement from the person could be another matter.

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