Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice. Find out more >
If someone left their goods with you, you must give them a certain amount of notice, depending on the value of the goods, before you are allowed to dispose of them.
If you left your goods with someone, and your goods were disposed of without notice, you may be able to make a claim in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for the goods to be returned or for the value.
The amount paid for the goods may not be what they are worth now. The value of the goods may have reduced over time. The value of the goods is usually the cost of replacing them with goods that are the same age and in a similar condition, but it will depend on the circumstances.
You can work out the value of second hand goods by finding more than one advertisement of goods of a similar type and quality, and calculating the average price.
Other evidence about the value of goods can include:
the price of second hand goods that are of the same or similar type, quality and condition
expert reports from a valuer about the value of the goods, for example jewellery
a valuation certificate or insurance documents
documents that show what was paid for the goods: for example receipts, credit card statements, or evidence of electronic payment.
The amount of notice you have to give depends on the type of goods and their value.
After the notice period has passed you may be able to dispose of the goods, depending on what they are.
Rubbish and perishables (for example, food items)
Notice is not required
Can be disposed of immediately
Personal documents (for example, a birth certificate)
At least 28 days written notice to the owner of the goods
Must either be returned to the authority who issued the document, or securely destroyed
Goods worth less than $1,000
At least 14 days verbal or written notice to the owner of the goods
Can be disposed in any way
Goods worth between $1,000 and $20,000
Can be sold at a public auction. Keep a record of the sale and send proceeds to Revenue NSW.
It is important to keep a record of the written notice in case there is a dispute.
If the goods are worth more than $20,000 an application must be made to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) before the goods can be disposed.
If the goods are disposed without notice, the owner of the goods can make a claim in NCAT.
For more information, see Going to NCAT.