Lost Property Law

What if Someone Else Finds My Lost Property?


Finders Keepers? 

The law around individuals finding lost property and keeping it, such as "Finders keepers" is very vague as detailed in the following newspaper article: "Finders Keepers" Legal Position

However, a few general "rules" apply around the status of the property and the efforts made by the finder to trace the legal owner.


Further reading:


The Police View on Lost Property


The Status of the Property

The status of the property is very important. The lawful owner always has legal ownership above all others and so the found property, however innocently acquired, has to be returned.  Unless of course the loser is happy to accept compensation for the item. We can help make arrangements for this too.


However, if  the property is deemed as abandoned then the finder has legal rights to the property above anybody else as it has no legal "Owner". The owner having relinquished all ownership when abandoning the property.


If the property is deemed to be accidentally and involuntarily lost by the owner then the owner still has legal rights of ownership above all others. But of course not everything that is lost finds its way back to the loser. 

 Person picking up a lost wallet

Make All Reasonable Efforts to Trace the Owner

So generally and broadly speaking to satisfy the law the finder needs to make all reasonable efforts to trace the owner and look after it as his or her own while doing so for a reasonable period of time. Some say between 6 weeks and 3 months depending on the type of property.  This is where we come in to help.

Register an Item You Have Lost


Our Lost Property Returns Service can take on the stress and responsibilities surrounding losing your property for you.


Click the 'Register My Lost Property' button below, and complete the registration form.