How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36226
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
19958803
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am leasing a house. I just moved in and found a door to a

Customer Question

I am leasing a house. I just moved in and found a door to a room locked. I used a knife and accessed the room. in the room is many personal items. I asked the landlord if these were her possessions and was she going to remove them. she seem very frustrated and said "the room was not included in the deal and I should not have entered the room". I told her it would be best for both if you removed the items. She exclaimed the room is off limits and if I could not live with that then she will take steps. I told here there is nothing in the lease that states the room is not part of the rent agreement. Is she going to try and have me evicted?? The lease is signed, deposit paid and first months rent is paid.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

.

Does the lease that you signed just list the property address as the leased premises?

.

And there isn't anything in the written lease that states that she is reserving use and possession of that room for her own personal use and excluding it from the tenancy, correct?

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correct. I tried to explane this to her but I could tell she was frustrated. I told her I may even be willing to sign a lease with such provisions there in but after thinking about it I do not want to be responsible for her property. Don't know what to do?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, you aren't in any way in breach of the lease. It is actually her that is in breach by failing to provide the entire premises as specified in the lease. If she had reserved the room in the lease, it would be different, but since she didn't, you have legal use of the entire property.
.
So at this point, she has her personal property in your leased premises and you could hold her liable for breach of contract and force her to remove her property if you chose to do so by filing a small claims court suit for breach of contract.
.
She has absolutely no legal grounds to terminate your lease and evict as you are the one who is completely in the right here..
.
.
thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what should I do with the possessions in room?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
At this point, you are in an odd "reverse landlord tenant" situation where you are actually the landlord for the property since you have legal possession of it and the actual owner has created an "involuntary bailment".
.
An involuntary bailment is when one party, the bailor, leaves personal property in the possession of the bailee without permission or consent. The bailor can return and take possession of the property at any time before the bailee terminates the bailment and the property is considered abandoned. A bailee can terminate an involuntary bailment by giving notice to the bailor that they need to come get the property or it will be considered abandoned and disposed of.
.
In order to legally terminate the bailment, you have to give written notice to the bailor at their last known address (which would probably be the property address or where they live). I would send it certified mail as well as first class mail so you have proof of mailing. State that you are terminating the bailment and the bailor has 7 days to remove the property or you will consider it abandoned and dispose of it. On day 8 if it is still there, you can dispose of it as abandoned.
.
That is, of course, unless you work out something for a rent reduction for allowing the landlord to continue to use the room.
.
.
thanks
Barrister

Related Real Estate Law Questions