How long?

  961 17:30 15 May 10

Generally give them notice by registered post (special delivery) that if they do not collect by appointment within, say, 30 days you will feel able to dispose of the item

It greatly depends on the value. If they are aware of the situation and have not collected within 6 months then it's likely they consider it not worth their while and if you have given notice that you intend to dispose of it you've done your best

However, if it's of value, say a laptop, then I suggest you need to keep it safe until quite sure they aren't going to want it back

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