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dkennedy, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6009
Experience:  Juris Doctorate Degree
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What are my rights if I was locked of the property

Customer Question

My boyfriend is the renter and had to go to jail on Dec. 10th, 2007. The rental agreement was verbal between him and the landlord. He has been residing at this residency for the past 7 years. Anyways, Bob and I have been together for the past 4 years and residing at his place of residency. Before he left he wrote a note stating that he gave me rights to remove all his personal property that was not removed before he went away, (it was also signed by 2 witnesses). Upon Bob leaving, I started to remove his, mine and our 3 year old daughters personal belongings that still was on the property. The landlords wife had showed up on Dec. 11th, telling me to get off the property that I have no legal rights there. On the following Sunday, I was informed that the landlord had posted a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit and that the landlord had put up a gate with a padlock and a chain. I have no way of entering the property. What do I do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  dkennedy replied 7 years ago.


The landlord is breaking the law by doing this. You may not have been on the lease, but you lived there long enough to be a resident. The landlord should have done something years ago if you were not allowed to live there. You should apply for the services of Legal Aid to help you. They do a lot of landlord/tenant cases. I am also giving you a link to a California Consumer Affairs site which has lots of specific information for you on the California laws. You were a tenant in every sense of the word. Read this, and then try to get legal help tomorrow.

Landlord/Tenant Book Index - California Department of Consumer Affairs

I hope this helps. Good luck to you and your baby.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
How much time do I have? I haven't been back to the property since Dec. 17th, 2007
Expert:  dkennedy replied 7 years ago.

Hello again,

I am not sure about the time frames. You stated that you "were informed" that the landlord put up a 3 day notice. Did you get the notice? Did your boyfriend get some kind of a notice before he went to jail? Was the rent paid? If the rent for December was not paid, the landlord has a right to follow the proper procedures and evict you from the property. If you were not served the proper notice, then you have a right to still be on the property. But, if she locked you out, she probably removed your things by now. Again, she cannot dispose of your property. Even if she served proper 3 day notice, the landlord has to go to court to evict you if you do not leave voluntarily. Lockouts are not permitted. Also, if you were not named personally in the writ of eviction (if there even was one) then they cannot lawfully evict you yet.

Please contact Legal Aid tomorrow. The location of your local Legal Aid is included in the landlord/tenant section of the Consumer Affairs website. At the very least, read the information I linked you to, and figure out how it applies to your own situation. This will tell you what your rights are. You need to act fast, however. You may be able to recover some money from this manager, and possibly get your things back.


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