Abandoned Property Laws in Wisconsin

This is a discussion on Abandoned Property Laws in Wisconsin within the Miscellaneous Topics forum, part of the OTHER LEGAL ISSUES category; Well, first of all I'd like to mention that I'm in Wisconsin. Now, I used to play in a band ...

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Old Jul 1st, 2008, 12:21 AM   #1
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Default Abandoned Property Laws in Wisconsin

Well, first of all I'd like to mention that I'm in Wisconsin.

Now, I used to play in a band with this guy who left his amplifier at my house. We had a verbal agreement that he could keep it here, which I'm considering effectively over on April 8th, the day we kicked him out of the band and he asked if he could get his amp back. I told him it was avaialbe for him to pick up and he never came to get it. He asked for it back again on April 29th and I told him the same thing again, and he never came. On May 18th, I told him through email he had "a week or so" to come pick it up or I was going to get it fixed (it was broken) and start using it. He told me he would be out of town and wouldn't be free to come get it until June 1st, and I never heard from him again so I got it fixed and tried to sell it. He saw the ad posted and emailed me angrily on July 27th, 40 days after I told him he had a week or so to pick it up and 80 days after he first asked for it back. I told him that after 30 days it's considered abandoned, which I've only heard secondhand. But all I asked was that he pay me back for the repair fee and he refuses to do that and keeps telling me that it was illegal to get it fixed. So I told him that he has 30 days to either pay me back and pick up the amp, or cite a particular law showing that I was out of bounds in getting it fixed and then pickup the amp, otherwise I will be getting rid of the amp after 30 days.

He showed me this: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0177.pdf.

I'm not sure what half of that means, but it seems to me most of it is about money and safe deposit boxes, not stuff left on other people's property. Anyway, I'm willing to concede that he is right if he is, but could anyone tell me if this document is applicable? Or point me in the direction of something that is?
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 06:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Abandoned Property Laws in Wisconsin

I believe the word intangible relates to money type unclaimed property as opposed to 'real' or personal property. And I believe the 'state' gets it if unclaimed after 5 years.
You still may need to find a law to quote on google etc that shows 30 days is appropriate for personal property abandoned in Wisconsin to satisfy both of you if a lawyer is not an option.
Then, are you required to sell the item and what do you do with the monies? I can't remember if you can just take the item over or not.
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Old Jan 21st, 2010, 04:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Abandoned Property Laws in Wisconsin

Look at state statute # 20.909 Abandoned, lost or escheated property. This should point you in the right direction.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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Unhappy Re: Abandoned Property Laws in Wisconsin

20.909 only has to do with property left in a state owned building ...
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 05:44 AM   #5
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http://wis-law.com/tenant704.html check that out
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Old Jul 5th, 2016, 07:45 PM   #6
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704.05 Rights and duties of landlord and tenant in absence of written agreement to contrary.

(1) When section applicable. So far as applicable, this section governs the rights and duties of the landlord and tenant in the absence of any inconsistent provision in writing signed by both the landlord and the tenant. This section applies to any tenancy.

(2) Possession of tenant and access by landlord. Until the expiration date specified in the lease, or the termination of a periodic tenancy or tenancy at will, and so long as the tenant is not in default, the tenant has the right to exclusive possession of the premises, except as hereafter provided. The landlord may upon advance notice and at reasonable times inspect the premises, make repairs and show the premises to prospective tenants or purchasers; and if the tenant is absent from the premises and the landlord reasonably believes that entry is necessary to preserve or protect the premises, the landlord may enter without notice and with such force as appears necessary.

(3) Use of premises, additions or alterations by tenant. The tenant can make no physical changes in the nature of the premises, including decorating, removing, altering or adding to the structures thereon, without prior consent of the landlord. The tenant cannot use the premises for any unlawful purpose nor in such manner as to interfere unreasonably with use by another occupant of the same building or group of buildings.

(4) Tenant's fixtures. At the termination of the tenancy, the tenant may remove any fixtures installed by the tenant if the tenant either restores the premises to their condition prior to the installation or pays to the landlord the cost of such restoration. Where such fixtures were installed to replace similar fixtures which were part of the premises at the time of the commencement of the tenancy, and the original fixtures cannot be restored the tenant may remove fixtures installed by the tenant only if the tenant replaces them with fixtures at least comparable in condition and value to the original fixtures. The tenant's right to remove fixtures is not lost by an extension or renewal of a lease without reservation of such right to remove. This subsection applies to any fixtures added by the tenant for convenience as well as those added for purposes of trade, agriculture or business; but this subsection does not govern the rights of parties other than the landlord and tenant.

(5) Storage or disposition of personalty left by tenant.

(a) Procedure. If a tenant removes from the premises and leaves personal property, the landlord may do all of the following:

1. Store the personalty, on or off the premises, with a lien on the personalty for the actual and reasonable cost of removal and storage or, if stored by the landlord, for the actual and reasonable value of storage. The landlord shall give written notice of the storage to the tenant within 10 days after the charges begin. The landlord shall give the notice either personally or by ordinary mail addressed to the tenant's last-known address and shall state the daily charges for storage. The landlord may not include the cost of damages to the premises or past or future rent due in the amount demanded for satisfaction of the lien. The landlord may not include rent charged for the premises in calculating the cost of storage. Medicine and medical equipment are not subject to the lien under this subdivision, and the landlord shall promptly return them to the tenant upon request.

2. Give the tenant notice, personally or by ordinary mail addressed to the tenant's last-known address, of the landlord's intent to dispose of the personalty by sale or other appropriate means if the property is not repossessed by the tenant. If the tenant fails to repossess the property within 30 days after the date of personal service or the date of the mailing of the notice, the landlord may dispose of the property by private or public sale or any other appropriate means. The landlord may deduct from the proceeds of sale any costs of sale and any storage charges if the landlord has first stored the personalty under subd. 1. If the proceeds minus the costs of sale and minus any storage charges are not claimed within 60 days after the date of the sale of the personalty, the landlord is not accountable to the tenant for any of the proceeds of the sale or the value of the property. The landlord shall send the proceeds of the sale minus the costs of the sale and minus any storage charges to the department of administration for deposit in the appropriation under s. 20.505 (7) (gm).

3. Store the personalty without a lien and return it to the tenant.
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Old Jul 5th, 2016, 08:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Abandoned Property Laws in Wisconsin

Originally Posted by se3k4life101:
Anyway, I'm willing to concede that he is right if he is, but could anyone tell me if this document is applicable? Or point me in the direction of something that is?
This is not a landlord tenant issue and it's not an abandoned property issue.

It's a "bailment." Google it.

Bottom line, you had no business fixing it, using it, or trying to sell it so you are out that money and still have to return it to him.

If you want to be smart and get out from under this, take his amp and BRING IT TO HIM (forget the money) instead of screwing around with it any further.

Your choice.
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Old Jul 8th, 2016, 01:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Abandoned Property Laws in Wisconsin

What if you are a business and a customer leaves something on lay away and never comes back for it? How long should the business wait for the customer to return to claim their purchase before it becomes unclaimed? What type of agreement should someone sign in when initiating a lay away, and would signage at the store with a time limit be enough notice to persons leaving personal property at or a layaway at the business?
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