​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

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Frequently Asked Questions​

If you left your goods with someone

1. What goods can I recover?​ 

You can use the information in this topic to recover personal property like: 

  • cars
  • jewellery
  • furniture. 

There are special laws about recovering some goods, for example: 

  • ​goods left in a storage facility
  • goods held by your spouse or partner after a marriage or de facto relationship has ended.

You should get legal advice for getting goods back in these situations. 

For more information, see Types of goods​.

2. How can I get my goods back? 

You have a number of options to try to get your goods back. You can try:

  • negotiation

  • mediation through Community Justice Centres (CJC)

  • send a letter of demand. 

If you have sent a letter of demand and you have not got your goods back, you may wish to decide whether to start a case in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). NCAT can: 

  • make an order that goods be returned to you, or
  • if your goods have been sold, damaged or destroyed, make an order for compensation to be paid for the value of the goods.

For more information, see If you left your goods with someone.

3. Will the police help me get back a laptop I lent to a friend? 

It is unlikely that the police will be able to help you if you let your friend have the laptop, even if it was only for a limited period of time. 

AlertIf you are not sure if goods are stolen you should get legal advice. If the police will not help, you may be able to take steps to recover the goods yourself. 

For more information, see If you left your goods with someone. 

4. What evidence will I need to show that I own a painting that is at my friend's house? He says it is his. 

You should think about what evidence you have which shows that you own the painting. Evidence could be: 

  • ​a receipt
  • other records of payment for example, electronic payment
  • insurance documents mentioning the painting
  • photographs of the painting in your home or with you.

For more information, see If you left your goods with someone. 

5. I want to send a letter of demand to a friend to get him to return my furniture. He has moved house and I do not have his new address. What can I do? 

You do not have to send a letter of demand through the post. You could send it by email, SMS or by private message through social media (for example, Facebook) or other messaging services. Make sure you keep a record of how you sent it, and when. 

You will need to know his address if you want to make a claim in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

For more information, see Letter of demand – goods. 

6. I want to get my things back from my ex-partner but she has applied for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against me which says I can't contact her. How can I get my things back? 

AlertIf there is an AVO against you that says you can’t contact your ex-partner, you may be charged with a criminal offence if you do. Before trying to get your things back, you should get legal advice​.

If there is an interim, but not a final AVO against you, you may be able to ask the court for a Property Recovery Order the next time your case is in court. 

For more information about Property Recovery Orders and Apprehended Violence Orders, see AVOs.

AlertIf you think you are entitled to the property under family law, you should get legal advice.

7. How much will it cost me to start a case to get my goods back? Is it worth it? 

The total cost of a case will depend on the outcome. You will have to pay a filing fee to start your case.

It may not be worth starting a case, depending on the value of the goods. If the goods only have sentimental value, and have been lost or destroyed so that they can't be recovered, it may not be worth starting a case for the money value of the goods. 

For more information, see Going to NCAT​

If someone has left their goods with you

1. My friend left his TV with me when he went overseas. He is now back from overseas and wants his TV. Do I have to give it back? 

Your friend may be able to get his TV back. It will depend on: 

  • ​whether he gave it to you or lent it to you
  • when the TV should have been returned.

For more information, see If someone has left their goods with you.

You could try to negotiate or arrange mediation with your friend. For more information, see Resolving your dispute 

Your friend can start a case in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to get his TV back. NCAT may make an order that you return the TV or pay for the value of the TV. 

If you receive a letter from NCAT, you should get legal advice​. 

2. My flatmate moved out and left some books behind. She wants her books back but I don't have them anymore. What can I do? 

You should try talking to them about the situation. You can try free mediation through Community Justice Centres (CJC). If you're finding it hard to talk to them you can send her a letter explaining why you no longer have the books. 

For more information, see If someone has left their goods with you and Resolving your dispute​. 

Your flatmate may make a claim in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for compensation for goods destroyed. This means that she can ask for money equal to the second hand value of the books. If she wins the case, NCAT will decide how much the books are worth based on any evidence provided, and how much you should pay her. 

3. A friend left her goods in my garage two months ago. I want to get rid of them. Can I just throw them out?

It’s important to try to contact your friend.

If the goods are valued less than $1,000, you will need to provide at least 14 written or verbal notice. If the goods are valued between $1,000 and $20,000, you will need to provide at least 28 days written notice. If the goods worth more than $20,000, you will need to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for an order to dispose of the goods. 

If you dispose of the goods without giving the correct amount of notice, your friend can apply to NCAT for an order for payment of compensation for goods damaged or destroyed. 

For more information, see If someone has left their goods with you.

4. I sold a fridge and washing machine on Gumtree after giving 28 days written notice to the owner of the goods. Can I keep the money?

The money from the sale of the goods should either be returned to the owner of the goods or sent to the Chief Commissioner of Revenue NSW if the owner can’t be located.

For more information, see Unclaimed money on the Revenue NSW website.

You can claim the cost of removal, storage, maintenance, insurance and disposal fees. You should keep a record of the money you spent for these expenses.