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I had an agreement with someone that they would keep my property (two suitcases and some clothing) in their apartment for some time. It's only been three days, and every day this person sends me threats telling me that they will discard my property. The final threat from him is that if he doesn't hear from me by Wednesday he will discard my property.

I have arranged for my property to be collected this friday. I've tried to reason with this person, but he is on a power trip. Is there any legal action or rights (the law or police) I can use as a deterant to allow common sense to prevail so that this person doesn't discard my stuff before they can be collected this Friday? The person lives in a university accomodation, would contacting the university help?

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If your agreement amounted to a contract, then by discarding your property this person might be committing a breech of contract, depending on the specific terms of the agreement. If you paid this person to look after your property, then s/he has a greater responsibility than if it was merely a personal favor that was not paid for or compensated.

A person who is in possession of the property of another (with permission) is in general required to give thew owner "reasonable notice" to reclaim the property before discarding it, but is not required to retain it indefinitely. If there is some specific legal duty to care for the property, that will increase the required level of care. Otherwise what is reasonable will depend on the specific circumstances. I don't know if German law would impose any specific time limits in such a situation.

I wouldn't think that the landlord, whether it is University housing or not, would impose any duty or exercise any control over the resident, unless perhaps you had recently lived in that dwelling.

This answer is under general principles of law, and is not specific to the law of Germany.

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    Is your answer specific to Germany or just in general? I had lived (i.e. sublet) in the same university accomodation but in another apartment. – myname Mar 1 at 18:59
  • @myname My answer is not specific to the law of Germany – David Siegel Mar 1 at 19:04
  • Applying international principles to a specific situation might not be helpful to that specific case. – o.m. Mar 2 at 16:49
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I had an agreement

This can be considered a contract. Contracts do not have to be in writing to be valid on most issues. (It is a good idea to have many contracts in writing even if that is not required, however, as this example shows.)

they would keep my property (two suitcases and some clothing) in their apartment for some time.

Was "some time" ever specified?

Is there any legal action or rights (the law or police) I can use as a deterant to allow common sense to prevail so that this person doesn't discard my stuff before they can be collected this Friday?

You might inform the person that he/she is free to turn your goods in at the Fundbüro (the municipal lost property office), but that he/she had better do it properly and keep the receipt because you will reclaim it. That would be a great inconvenience for both of you, perhaps it will deter the person or at least you won't have to meet that person again ...

The person lives in a university accomodation, would contacting the university help?

No. If he does it it might become an offense under §303 StGB, but the question of damages is a civil law matter between you and that person. Involving any third party is just messing things even further.

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