What they did is not legal in Ariz. Did you have a verbal agreement with them or a written agreement about your belongings? Regardless, they can't do what they did, they can't arrest you and they were not allowed to touch your property until after 21 days! You may have a suit for wrongful arrest and also for the value of your property, plus whatever other damages you incurred.
In AZ, if the landlord has the right to evict, he can have a sheriff or constable lock you out of the rental unit. When this happens, the landlord must certain steps to deal with the tenant’s belongings.
The Landlord must give the tenant notice and then hold the property for 21 days. If the tenant does not contact the landlord and the 21 day waiting period expires, the landlord (LL) may sell or otherwise dispose of the property.
Here, there were only 16 days, and even if you're a day off, it was still less than 21. The LL must hang onto your property for 21 days before he can do anything. What he did was illegal. You can bring a lawsuit against the landlord , possibly for wrongful arrest and also for the value of your property. What the LL did was illegal.
If you would like, I can send you a list of landlord-tenant lawyers in your area. I cannot recommend any specific attorneys to you but I can send you a list and explain what to look for on the list. This way, you'll know not to pick an attorney who has a red mark of misconduct next to his or her name. If you are interested, please let me know what town or city you are near, generally a larger town, so that there will be enough Landlord-tenant (L&T) lawyers to choose from. This is at no extra charge to you. I do this for people who ask me questions so that I can point people in the right direction.
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