16 02 2022
The administration is not responsible for the safety of the things left behind
Quite often in public places (wardrobes of cafes, restaurants, SPAs, gyms) each of us could meet signs with the inscription «The administration is not responsible for the safety of the things left behind».

Is it really so? Who then is responsible for a lost item?

To begin with, let's turn to the legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Storage is governed by the provisions of Article 768 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, according to which one party (the custodian) undertakes to store the thing transferred to it by the other party (the bailor) and return this thing intact.

Leaving things in the lockers, locker rooms, wardrobes, etc. is pertained to the short-term storage, and according to art. 772 Civil Code of the RepublicofKazakhstan does not require a storage contract in writing. Such an agreement is recognized as concluded orally from the moment the custodian issues numbers, tokens and other legitimation marks (Articles 772, 788 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan).

However, what to do if you have transferred things for such storage, and upon return noticed their absence (partial or complete), and by inviting a representative of the administration, received an explanation that the administration for the safety of your items is not responsible, which you have been informed in advance ("information plate").

According to Article 775 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan the company is obliged to provide all measures for the safety of the thing handed over for storage, as well as to take care of it as his thing. In this case, the representative of the administration is not entitled to refer to the fact that such a "information plate" has been warnedthe person, and thus accepted the conditions of the public contract with a reservation.

The company, which has accepted the thing for storage, is still responsible for the loss, shortage, or damage to the thing, and after acceptance of the thing for storage, it is obliged to take all measures to ensure its safety by Article 778 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

At the same time, the person who carries out storage by its business activities is exempt from liability for failure to keep the thing only in cases where the loss, shortage, or damage of the thing is caused by force majeure or the properties of the thing itself, or the intent or gross negligence of the lessee (Article 779 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan).

Thus, the administration is exempt from liability for the safety of only items forgotten, lost, or left outside the organized storage area.

Therefore, it will be correct for businesses to use the following wording: "The administration is not responsible for items lost, forgotten or left unattended.

Nevertheless, despite this, in case of loss, you can always turn to a representative of the administration to resolve the situation, and if there is a video surveillance system ask to see the video recording.

There are situations when the company, due to lack of space, offers to leave the thing at the reception or somewhere near the locker, but without providing any signs in return that confirm the delivery and acceptance of things for storage.

In this case, be sure to try at least by hand to draw up an Act of transfer with a detailed description of the items handed over and their value. This will help in case it is necessary to take proceedings for the loss of things.

What actions should be taken if your belongings are found missing?

1) Record confirmation of the storage space provided by the business. Take a picture of the number/key issued, and do not give it to the business administration without a receipt.

2) Immediately contact the law enforcement authorities with a report on the fact of loss, also be sure to require the police to seize the video from surveillance cameras for the period when the item was in storage. If they refuse to confiscate the item, record the fact in writing.

3) If there are witnesses who can attest to the loss of the item, record the testimony in writing with the identity of those witnesses.

4) Estimate the damages incurred. You need to document the damage, for example, by providing receipts or other proof of the value of the stolen items.

5) Write a claim for damages to the executive body of the company (director) in duplicate. Sign both copies at this person with the date of receipt, keep one copy for yourself.

In this claim, list the lost items, their value, the approximate period of being in storage, the number of the locker/cabinet, and other facts relating to the fact of the loss.

In general, of course, you should not leave valuable items such as phones, keys, money, etc. in lockers, it is better to keep them with you at all times.

Thus, if you place your thing in a storage room or any other specially allocated place, then the company, according to the civil legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, is responsible for your deposited things, even if there is a declaration about the absence of responsibility.

Author of the article: lawyer of MG Partners, Yekaterina Zhmaka.