Someone lends his car to his friend for the day. After the friend returns the car, the owner finds some items left in the car. May he keep them under the assumption that once the car is returned he retakes full ownership, and anything in the car is his, automatically?

Or, do we assume that even after returning the car, we assume that the borrower forgot these items and hopes to get them back?

Or, does it depend on the type of item? For example, the borrower would expect his coat or computer returned. But, if he forgot newspapers or a candy bar, maybe not?


1 Answer 1


Like with other lost objects, you cannot take them for yourself unless you know the owner despairs from getting them back (yeush). This is no different from finding a lost object on your property.

You do need to trouble yourself to find the owner although you do not need to spend money on it, nor bring it back to the supposed owner. It is enough to announce the find (in this case to call the friend to whom he lent the car), describe the find generally and check if the owner knows the details (simanim) of the object.

If the object is not worth a pruta (minimal amount of money, generally between 10-25 cents today), you do not need to do this.

Source: R Yisroel Pinchos Bodner, Halachos of other people's money, ch. 3

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