WHat state are you in?
Do you have an approximate value of your belongings?
A landlord in any state, including CA, has not right to keep your personal belongings from you -- even if you owe him money. He must take you to court just like every other landlord in the state would do -- if he wants the place cleaned he should have it cleaned and then take the money from your security deposit or sue you in small claims court or in housing court for any additional damages that your security deposit does not cover (in the Landlord's opinion). What you should do here is file a small claims case against the Landlord and ask the Landlord for payment of the value of your personal belongings or the return of your belongings plus court costs and any costs that it takes for you to get to court on the day that the court hearing is held (such as if you miss a day of work) . In CA small claims court you can sue for up to $7500 and you can prepare and file the claim yourself in the nearest district court: here is a link to the small claims court forms and instructions: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-smallclaims.htm
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