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Your Horse equine law column – Can I dispose of old tack and rugs that have been left at my yard?

Q – Can I dispose of old tack and rugs that have been left at my yard by owners that are no longer on the yard. If so how long would I have to wait as they where all told to take everything that belonged to them when they left?

A – Although you may wish to dispose of the tack and rugs as quickly as possible the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 sets down a procedure that you are required to follow.

To avoid any potential penalties you will need to send written notice, by registered post, to the previous owner stating that they are responsible for collecting the items, where they are being kept and your own details.

You should also include notice of your intention to sell/destroy the goods if they are not collected by a certain date.

You have to allow the owner reasonable time to collect the tack and rugs from the date you send that letter to the date you intend to destroy or sell the relevant items. Unfortunately the law doesn’t define what ‘reasonable time’ means, it will instead depend on the reason for the delay, the type of goods and other relevant factors. If you do not have the owner’s address you will be required to take reasonable steps to trace them.

If the owner then fails to collect the goods by this date, you may then be relieved of your obligations and may sell or otherwise dispose of the goods.


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