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Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10220
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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Gave notice to landlord that I have to break my lease and

Customer Question

Gave notice to landlord that I have to break my lease and hadn't paid March rent. The locked me out of apt and removed all my possessions. Now what?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 7 months ago.

Dear Customer,

While you probably didn't handle your moving out notice properly (need to give 30 days, and pay through the end of your notice period - if you are on a periodic tenancy, for example 12 months, you are liable for the end of the lease, or until the landlord finds a new tenant), the landlord cannot lock you out of the unit.

What your landlord has done is what is called an "illegal eviction" and you can sue them in civil court for the illegal eviction, as well as "conversion" (the civil equivalent of theft) for your personal property, and seek punitive damages as well.

(While in most cases, law enforcement will not get involved in landlord/tenant matters, in some cases where the landlord has overreached to the point of taking the tenant's belongings, police will actually intervene, so you can try contacting your local police or sheriff's department (their non-emergency number) and make a police report).

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