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I have a 1985 2.5 N/A 90 here, that some time ago the owner of it brought it here for some repairs (which I did and was paid for)l. He then asked me if I could look after it until he could sell it in France (apparently he would get more money for it there), to which I agreed. It has now been here for 5-years, and the last time I had any contact with him was March 2014. His phone number no longer exists, so I have no way of contacting him. I can't dispose of it as it's not my property, and as it's on my property, I can't do anything about it (putting it out on the road/scrapping it/etc, would mean that I'm effectively stealing it or commiting an offence. Local council complain about it, but won't help me. DVLA website is more complicated than a complicated thing, and I can't find a contact for this problem :( Condition of it as follows - chassis is solid, engine runs with a decent battery on it. Needs a clutch slave to drive it, 1 prop uj is buggered, and the tyres are perished, moss, lichen, etc, all over it. Has anyone on here got some advice on what I can do about this without going to prison? :)

Vehicle is a 1985 Land Rover, 90-inch wheelbase, hard top, 2.5 naturally aspirated diesel (heavy oil), Reg No C7448 TDF, VIN - SALLDVAC7AA247912. Mr Neil Lang - if you look on here, then get in touch. I'm sick and tired of looking at your truck, so contact me asap.

If anyone suggests that I do anything illegal, then please don't reply.

Les

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Do you have legal advice on car insurance ? Phone council for advice ? Its an abandoned car on your land now.

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Local council abandoned vehicles officer was e-mailed 5-months ago, and as yet - nothing. Not on a public highway, so not his/her concern I guess. Not sure what you mean about insurance.

Les

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Some insurance policies have legal advice included in the cost of the policy - I imagine Pete is suggesting you contact them for advise.

Given the value of the item I would have thought investigating whether ownership passes to you after a certain period would be worthwhile. Equally I would consider seeking legal advice on selling the vehicle to recover the outstanding cost of storage you have undoubtedly incurred

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Thanks Lewis. Insurance is no help - except on a vehicle that I own. I did research on claiming ownership by going through courts, but I guess it would cost me, which I may not recover through sale or scrapping.

Les

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Don't know his address, Pete - only a mobile number, which no longer exists.

If you decide to move the vehicle yourself, or make arrangements for this to be done, it would be advisable to give the owner of the vehicle a reasonable amount of time (say, 14 days) to remove it.
. He would never see it I guess, as he lives quite a way from here.

Les.

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If you contact the Dvla for the registered keeper address and then send a recorded letter you can demoatrate you have taken reasonable steps to advise the owner. Basically prove you did what you could to inform the owner and gave them time to reply and then you can take action on it. Not sure where you can move it to.

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You can dispose of the property after a number of years , I bought a 109 FC in Australia under the same scenario , and their law is based on UK . The previous owner had been tod on several occasions to remove, and i had tried buying from him , to no result, then i got a call from landowner , and bought from him. The original owner then saw the vehicle at my place and took exception to it , saying i had stolen it , i showed him bill of sale and said see the vendor, whom he contacted and was told to go and seek legal advice, nothing further heard . There is a law specific to items that have been repaired, and left at repairers, both unpaid for, and paid for.

You may well be able to get free legal advice , from your house ins co , as i think this sort of thing would be covered under the public liability side of things HTSH

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I knew a guy who ran a spray shop and this happened with a motorbike for him. He took legal advice and was told to bill the owner for storage - and if the cost of storage exceeded the vehicle value, he could keep the vehicle - which is what he did. He sent off to DVLA and put himself down as the new keeper.

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I have a mechanic mate who did exactly that - after some years (at say £500 per for storage) he got the v5 from the dvla. He fixed the car up, put it on the forecourt, and low and behold, the previous arrives with the old bill in tow, shouting about him being a thief of the blackest order. He showed them the V5, and the unpaid receipts for storage, they laughed, and left. Job done.

The interesting thing about this is that if you've registered your car, that it becomes property of the crown - REGISter, see? The V5 is merely a document proving that you are the lawful keeper. It clearly states "not proof of ownership". It's all to do with maritime law (as opposed to common law), as if you actually owned the car, they'd have a harder time legally taking it and crushing it for traffic offences etc. Therefore, you're not claiming ownership, merely taking it into your charge.

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That sounds like it would make a nice little runaround for Uncle Les ?

Mo

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Totally agree. Make sure the storage charges exceed the value. As I understand it the law courts take the opinion that you cannot be expected to store a customers vehicle for free and have every right in law to charge for the privilege.

Cheers

Barry

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Have you tried getting him on Facebook/other social media?

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if you apply for a change of reg keeper, a letter will be sent to former keeper, yes? If he then subsequently contacts you, you can reunite him with his property or if he chooses not to you can sell to recover your costs. It probably hasn't been declared sorn? in which case isn't insured and so you'd be doing him a favour by taking ownership and declaring it off road.

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Have you considered publishing the name of the owner on here or on FB Les? The LR community is small enough that someone may very well know him.

Failing that, why not register as the keeper of the vehicle - you are keeping it, so doing so would appear only to comply with law - and then insure and use the vehicle once you have a V5. If ever the owner comes and claims it you should hit him with a reasonable storage charge and give the vehicle back if he pays. Worst case he will go to court, in which case I would assume a court would allow a reasonable charge for storage by a motor repairer, even without a written contract. Best case he says 'OK, I'll swap the car for the storage', in which case you get a receipt from him and continue to use it/sell it/pay me for my advice with it. ;)

The following once worked for me with a bicycle I found: Take it to the police station and report it as lost property - tell them that you want to claim it as your own should they be unable to contact the owner. The police will then try to trace the owner, and if they succeed, success for you. If they fail then you have some legal claim over the car, success for you.

Chris

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Have you considered publishing the name of the owner on here or on FB Les?

Chris

It's in the first post, along with the VRM and VIN

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There is a website call Just Ask for a small fee you get legal advice which I have always found unesfl......You are entitled to charge storage so I would expect that after 5 years you now own the vehicle.

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Last tax expired 2001, so it was untaxed when he brought it here originally. I've googled/ social media his name to death and nothing. All I know is that he work/ed for the Home Office. I doubt very much that he frequents any L/R website, as he's not really the type. I suppose I could apply for a V5, but that doesn't mean that I own it - just that I would then be the registered keeper, and be responsible for tax/MOT/etc.

Les

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But surely as the registered keeper you can sell, repair etc.

Are you concerned the vehicle is not SORN and therefore maybe liable for some historic charges?

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I don't know Neil. If it isn't on a SORN, then there's a whole lot of tax/fines due on it. Even if it is SORN'd - don't you have to renew it every year or something nowadays ?

Les

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No, sorn renewal disappeared recently, and fines for not sorning would be down to original keeper surely? sorn does expire with change of keeper though....

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Does a fair storage cost exceed the value of the vechile ? Otherwise I guess you take ownership sell it and then keep the money left over in case you ever see Neil again.

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Stick the details in the online vehicle checker .... It's last tax date may be before sorn was compulsory ? Even if not though - you could hardly be liable for anything outstanding on it - that would be the registered keeper.... And if as soon as you become the new keeper - pop it on sorn or give it an MOT.

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