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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:03 PM   #1
HappyDude20
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My Roommate Disappeared 2+ Months Ago! Can I Keep His Stuff?

Interesting situation here.

I moved into this certain apartment (where I'm at now) located a few blocks away from my university. (UCLA)

I first checked out this place on August 21st, 2012; where the owner of this particular apartment (but not the complex), showed me around and I signed the lease the next day. The guy who "owns" this apartment lives in Africa running his business and leases it out to 4 college students during the regular school year.

I moved in on the 1st of September, where my roommate was never around. Classes began on the 17th of September so figured he would surely return by then. Days progressed and he showed up one time, only to pick up some weed and then left. Since, we've never seen him.

This is somewhat of a problem because for the month of September, his portion of the rent was paid with the deposit he originally submitted to the apartment complex...but when October came around he was not to be found. Aside, we have to assume he dropped outta school or something happened, considering he's never picked up or returned a phone call from any of us here at the apartment.

When October rolled by, the 3 remaining people (which includes myself) paid for his portion of the rent and October came and went without any communication from him, though we've still tried calling.

Then when this month of November came by we realized he was probably not gonna come back, so we found another roommate; to the agreement of the owner of the Apartment who is currently in Africa; who he too has not been able to reach this ghost of a roommate.

We found a new roommate for November and here we are. The problem(s) are that this guy who has been missing for months on end still has all his belongings here. From guitars, violins, a beautiful flatscreen TV and an amazing bike, just to mention a few things, not including clothes and everything else you would expect.

The current concern is that the new guy that has moved into the apartment to replace him, wants to seriously get rid of this guys stuff, including furniture so he can make way for his stuff, since he is living here and paying for it.

As an aside, the all of us here are admittedly eyeing his stuff and wanting to keep some of it. It's not everyday you come across a nice flat screen and bike..

yet, he doesn't answer his phones and it's been months.

If I was writing this thread back in mid September then this would be a different situation, but we're in mid November already and something needs to be done. To make way and etc. etc.

Any advice? I can't help but wonder what the legality of all this is?
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:12 PM   #2
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So your landlord owns the apartment (not the building)? What's your agreement with him? Do you each have individual agreements (I.e. you each pay him $250 per month), or do you have a "group" agreement (I.e you pay him $1000 per month as a group)?

In any case, I'd push things to him, as your landlord. Tell him to get the other guys stuff out of the unit. It's not your stuff, and selling stuff that doesn't belong to you and that you have no legal right to can get you in a mess of trouble.

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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CNeufeld View Post
So your landlord owns the apartment (not the building)? What's your agreement with him? Do you each have individual agreements (I.e. you each pay him $250 per month), or do you have a "group" agreement (I.e you pay him $1000 per month as a group)?

In any case, I'd push things to him, as your landlord. Tell him to get the other guys stuff out of the unit. It's not your stuff, and selling stuff that doesn't belong to you and that you have no legal right to can get you in a mess of trouble.

Clint
The landlord/super works for the building, but the apartment within the building i;m staying in is under a lease by a guy living in Africa, an alum from this school.

I just shot him an email explaining the situation. Before he's consent we do nothing. I also just called the guy thats been missing and his telephone is now shut off...
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:13 PM   #4
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Buy a storage unit and put his stuff in there so the new guy can move in. Call the guy and text him or send him a letter that his stuff is available to be picked up and he has three months to claim it. If he doesn't respond or try to contact you, the stuff is yours. Just keep recordings and copies of emails/texts/letters.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Orange Furball View Post
Buy a storage unit and put his stuff in there so the new guy can move in. Call the guy and text him or send him a letter that his stuff is available to be picked up and he has three months to claim it. If he doesn't respond or try to contact you, the stuff is yours. Just keep recordings and copies of emails/texts/letters.
There are no recordings, no text, nothing. Only missed calls and voicemails we've been leaving him. We thought about moving his stuff into a unit but that costs money and considering we've not heard a peep from him fear we'd never get the money back.

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First I wouldn't just take his stuff. You don't know what happened to him. Could be he disappeared on his own and then maybe not. I would have to assume the school would have contact information for his family. Have them try to get in touch with his family and find out what they might want to do with it. If its some kind of tragedy I'm sure his parents would probably want his stuff, all of it.

Until you try that you haven't done everything possible to get in touch with him or his family. You should also find out what the law is regarding this in the state you're in. Don't leave anything to chance.
Not one person has visited him or anything, and he's lived in this apartment for two years. and then one day just disappeared. Nothing is being taken, just wanting to be claimed. His flat screen is in my bedroom so i turn it on nightly to watch the new, that's all... but he does have a nice bike which I would love to have... but still, nothing is happening, its just sitting here and figured i'd ask the question.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by HappyDude20 View Post
There are no recordings, no text, nothing. Only missed calls and voicemails we've been leaving him. We thought about moving his stuff into a unit but that costs money and considering we've not heard a peep from him fear we'd never get the money back.
Has anyone contacted LAPD? Might be a good idea. IMHO
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:20 PM   #7
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Has anyone contacted LAPD? Might be a good idea. IMHO
The ppl living here, including myself met the guy for 10 minutes. He was in and out. We don't know him at all, but the guy in Africa does. So hopefully he'll tell me what to do, but as of right now this guy has been missing for months... and not once has anyone come to this place, where he lived for two years asking questions.

Personally, I think he dropped out of school and just went his own way. Perhaps moved far away, but it seems odd considering all the stuff he's has here...from DJ equipment, vinyls, laptops, printers, etc. etc.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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He is probably from Dateline and the second you take his stuff Chris Hanson will walk in with a camera crew and tell you to have a seat over there.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 08:46 PM   #9
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Has anyone contacted LAPD? Might be a good idea. IMHO
Excellent idea.

But... this really isn't the place to get legal advice, y'know.

Having said that:
  • Also check with the school's registrar's office to see if they have a contact number for him, or for an emergency contact.
  • The guy might be sick in the hospital or something. Exhaust every last possibility for tracking him down before you do anything you might have to apologize for (or worse) down the road.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 09:05 PM   #10
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I think the OP is looking for the green light to steal the guy's stuff. Barring that, I wonder why he hasn't contacted the police (either on campus or off campus) and informed them of a missing person. This whole story sounds either A) improbable, fake or incomplete; or B) sick for not contacting the authorities when it was clear there was a missing person.

And then two drugged out people try to barge into the apartment while OP's girlfriend is there to see if the missing person's stuff is there and you still don't contact the authorities. If this is a case of a missing person, OP and his roommates were *******s for this whole thing getting to this point. OP's missing roommate could be dead.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 08:52 AM   #11
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Don't pay the AWOL roommate's rent. That will get the landlord's attention.
That could still cause the landlord (not the guy in Africa) to terminate the lease if someone doesn't pay. I'm not going to dig up tenants' rights on the subject.

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Excellent idea.

But... this really isn't the place to get legal advice, y'know.
I'm willing to quote civil codes regarding abandonment.

There's more to it given the weirdness and potential lack of a written agreement, but the steps are still basically the same. If he can't be reached, someone should have filed a missing person report, but the first contact would be the landlord, whether he wants to deal with it or not (legally he has no choice).
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:15 PM   #12
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First I wouldn't just take his stuff. You don't know what happened to him. Could be he disappeared on his own and then maybe not. I would have to assume the school would have contact information for his family. Have them try to get in touch with his family and find out what they might want to do with it. If its some kind of tragedy I'm sure his parents would probably want his stuff, all of it.

Until you try that you haven't done everything possible to get in touch with him or his family. You should also find out what the law is regarding this in the state you're in. Don't leave anything to chance.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyDude20 View Post
There are no recordings, no text, nothing. Only missed calls and voicemails we've been leaving him. We thought about moving his stuff into a unit but that costs money and considering we've not heard a peep from him fear we'd never get the money back.

----------



Not one person has visited him or anything, and he's lived in this apartment for two years. and then one day just disappeared. Nothing is being taken, just wanting to be claimed. His flat screen is in my bedroom so i turn it on nightly to watch the new, that's all... but he does have a nice bike which I would love to have... but still, nothing is happening, its just sitting here and figured i'd ask the question.
I hear you but I think his parents should be notified of the situation. Just because no one has visited doesn't mean he that there isn't a family somewhere that cares about him.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:23 PM   #14
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I hear you but I think his parents should be notified of the situation. Just because no one has visited doesn't mean he that there isn't a family somewhere that cares about him.
True, but none of us here has any information about him. Absolutely nothing. Only the guy who has the lease in this apartment currently in Africa has any info on the guy... if he has personal info at all.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:23 PM   #15
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True, but none of us here has any information about him. Absolutely nothing. Only the guy who has the lease in this apartment currently in Africa has any info on the guy... if he has personal info at all.
So you signed a lease with a person that you know nothing about?
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:26 PM   #16
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So you signed a lease with a person that you know nothing about?
It's kinda the lay of the land with students needing to find a place to live. Admittedly, I signed the lease immediately because of the low price and the fact that its a pretty sweet penthouse a block away from campus.

Personally I feel like I lucked out, as do my roommates.. but this mysterious old roommate having been missing is taking its toll on the new 4th roommate that wants this guy's stuff outta here.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:27 PM   #17
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It's kinda the lay of the land with students needing to find a place to live. Admittedly, I signed the lease immediately because of the low price and the fact that its a pretty sweet penthouse a block away from campus.

Personally I feel like I lucked out, as do my roommates.. but this mysterious old roommate having been missing is taking its toll on the new 4th roommate that wants this guy's stuff outta here.
Why do you need a "pretty sweet penthouse" if you are a college student.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:28 PM   #18
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You may not have any info but I'm sure the school does. I personally would be more concerned that nothing bad happened to him and I think the school and authorities would want to look into it that too. If the school can contact the family I think they should be the ones to decide what happens with all his stuff.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:38 PM   #19
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So get a storage unit and put all his stuff in it, problem solved.

Then find out if you can get his name off the lease.
Exactly this.

I understand that may not be your end game but from your replies it make it seem like your looking for the right answer that allows you guys to split up his stuff. I'm giving you the befit of a doubt but, I'll repeat myself one more time. The school will have information on his family. They will know how to get in contact with them. Once they do I'm sure you'll hear rather quickly regarding their wishes.

In the meantime put all his things in storage to make room for the new guy.

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Off topic.

If the price is right, who cares? He said it was cheap (relatively speaking, I'm sure).

---

You can't just assume possession of his stuff. You need the landlord to take the point on this situation - whether that's calling the LAPD or having some third party take and store the possessions.

The university is probably going to be a dead end. There's federal privacy laws for students, so I doubt they'd give you squat for information.
You're right they won't give him any information but if he explains the situation I'm sure the school will want to contact the family themselves. Especially if they are due any tuition.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 07:33 PM   #20
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Does your school have a student legal services department? How about a landlord tenant branch of the government in your area?

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Old Nov 11, 2012, 08:16 PM   #21
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Does your school have a student legal services department? How about a landlord tenant branch of the government in your area?

Clint
This.

Nearly every school has Student Legal Services, it's surely a better option than asking for opinions here.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 11:06 AM   #22
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Interesting situation here.

I moved into this certain apartment (where I'm at now) located a few blocks away from my university. (UCLA)

I first checked out this place on August 21st, 2012; where the owner of this particular apartment (but not the complex), showed me around and I signed the lease the next day. The guy who "owns" this apartment lives in Africa running his business and leases it out to 4 college students during the regular school year.

I moved in on the 1st of September, where my roommate was never around. Classes began on the 17th of September so figured he would surely return by then. Days progressed and he showed up one time, only to pick up some weed and then left. Since, we've never seen him.

This is somewhat of a problem because for the month of September, his portion of the rent was paid with the deposit he originally submitted to the apartment complex...but when October came around he was not to be found. Aside, we have to assume he dropped outta school or something happened, considering he's never picked up or returned a phone call from any of us here at the apartment.

When October rolled by, the 3 remaining people (which includes myself) paid for his portion of the rent and October came and went without any communication from him, though we've still tried calling.

Then when this month of November came by we realized he was probably not gonna come back, so we found another roommate; to the agreement of the owner of the Apartment who is currently in Africa; who he too has not been able to reach this ghost of a roommate.

We found a new roommate for November and here we are. The problem(s) are that this guy who has been missing for months on end still has all his belongings here. From guitars, violins, a beautiful flatscreen TV and an amazing bike, just to mention a few things, not including clothes and everything else you would expect.

The current concern is that the new guy that has moved into the apartment to replace him, wants to seriously get rid of this guys stuff, including furniture so he can make way for his stuff, since he is living here and paying for it.

As an aside, the all of us here are admittedly eyeing his stuff and wanting to keep some of it. It's not everyday you come across a nice flat screen and bike..

yet, he doesn't answer his phones and it's been months.

If I was writing this thread back in mid September then this would be a different situation, but we're in mid November already and something needs to be done. To make way and etc. etc.

Any advice? I can't help but wonder what the legality of all this is?
Maybe you should report him as missing to the police. Nobody just leaves that kind of stuff laying around.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 11:13 AM   #23
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^^^

While you and your roomies plot the distribution of this individuals belongings, he could have had an accident, a breakdown, be lying dead someplace anything could have happend.

I'd contact missing persons, he's been gone long enough for them to take it seriously.

And no, you can't just take his possessions either.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 11:14 AM   #24
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Another vote to report him missing. You don't know anything about his family? His friends? Nobody just leaves these kind of things around.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 01:43 PM   #25
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I would have called the police after one week if my roommate disappeared and didn't answer calls and texts. Especially if I don't know his habits because I only met him in August of this year.

You really don't need any information about him. You just need his first and last name and take that to the police, let them handle it. I would never ever ever cover a roommates rent unless he was a good friend. I'm sorry but you guys really didn't handle this situation properly.

Suspicious actually, they could make a CSI episode out of this (lol).
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