If the bailee wants to eventually dispose of the goods, such as to recover any associated costs or losses, this right exists under the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977. Under section 12 of the Act, the bailee must give the owner notice in the prescribed form to collect the goods within a reasonable time. If the bailor does not collect, or otherwise give directions for redelivery, then the bailee is entitled to sell the goods (at the best method available, normally by auction). He must account to the owner for the sale proceeds but is entitled to associated costs and sale expenses.
The requirements for notice are that it must:
- be in writing
- be delivered to the bailor, left at his proper address, or sent by post
- specify the name and address of the bailor and give sufficient particulars of the goods and the address or place where they are held, and
- state that the goods are ready for delivery to the bailor
Where the goods are to be sold, the notice must also specify:
- the date on or after which the bailee proposes to sell the goods
- the amount, if any, which is payable by the bailor to the bailee in respect of the goods, and which became due before giving of the notice
- the notice shall be sent by registered or recorded delivery post
Whilst the duration of notice is not explicitly specified, 28 days is reasonable if you are simply disposing of them and are not pursuing them for further payments, although if payment is demanded in respect of the goods (for example in relation to a storage charge or other debts) then the law states that not less than three months' notice shall be given before the goods shall be sold by auction, or otherwise disposed.