QLD Property Law - Tools of Trade Considered Abandoned Property?

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Ron Petterson

1 December 2015

February this year I resigned from the company I worked for in Queensland due to unpaid wages and holiday pay ($26000). My ex-employer came to my home around 4 weeks later and collected the company car and nothing else. He verbally agreed to sell me the tools and equipment that was stored at my home and make a payment arrangement for the unpaid wages. He stated that he would be in touch.

He has since then been uncontactable and does not contact us. Even Fair Work Australia cannot get in contact with him. As to the wages, we are talking to ASIC and the ATO, however, I am wanting to know at what point does the equipment become abandoned. ie: at what point do the tools of trade become abandoned property and mine under property law?

We have since started our own business doing the same job I did for him and are doing okay, we do need to purchase some additional equipment to grow and to use that equipment would be a benefit.

Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.


Hi Ron,

As regards uncollected goods, there is specific legislation when uncollected goods belong to former tenants or in a situation when a customer fails to collect their goods from a business. The same sorts of principles generally apply though, of trying to get in contact with the owner of the goods to give them notice. Check out these two articles regarding the law on uncollected goods:

Property Law 101 - Uncollected and Former Tenants’ Goods (NSW) - Legal Blog - LawAnswers.com.au
Rules about uncollected goods | Your rights, crime and the law | Queensland Government