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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 2982
Experience:  Litigation Attorney
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Homeowner has evicted a lodger, legally evicted, but re4fuses

Customer Question

Homeowner has evicted a lodger, legally evicted, but re4fuses to retreive personal belongings. Homeowner is told the locks cannot be changed until lodger's belongings are removed. Homeowner is being held 'captive' in the home for fear of retaliatory damage. Is this correct?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.
What state?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This answer is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
If a judgment is entered against a tenant and becomes final (for example, if they do not appeal or if they lose on appeal), and they do not move out, the court will issue a writ of possession to the landlord. The landlord can deliver this legal document to the sheriff, who will then forcibly evict them from the rental unit if they don't leave promptly.
Before evicting them, the sheriff will serve them with a copy of the writ of possession. The writ of possession instructs them that they must move out by the end of the fifth day after the writ is served on them, and that if they do not move out, the sheriff will remove them from the rental unit and place the landlord in possession of it. The cost of serving the writ of possession will be added to the other costs of the suit that the landlord will collect from them.
If you haven't already served a writ of possession, you need to. I will describe the process: after the tenant is served with the writ of possession, they will have five days to move. If they have not moved by the end of the fifth day, the sheriff will return and physically remove them. Code of Civil Procedure Section 715.020(c). If their belongings are still in the rental unit, the sheriff may either remove them or have them stored by the landlord, who can charge them reasonable storage fees. If they do not reclaim these belongings within 18 days, you can mail them a notice to pick them up, and then can either sell them at auction or keep them (if their value is less than $300). Code of Civil Procedure Sections 715.030, 1174(h); Civil Code Sections 1965, 1988. See the Department of Consumer Affairs' Legal Guide LT-4, If the sheriff forcibly evicts them, the sheriff's cost will also be added to the judgment, which the you can collect from the former tenant.
If the writ has been served, and the five days have passed. If the Sheriff has removed the tenant from the premises then they no longer have legal access to the property and your friend can change the locks. So no, at this point if this has happens and the possessions are still there then the locks can be changes and the possessions put into storage. The tenant has 18 days to pick it up and your friend can either sell, keep or trash the possessions.
Please let me know if you have any further questions or require any additional guidance. Please do not forget to positively rate my answer as this is the only way that I am compensated for my work.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.
Do you have any further questions? Please let me know if I can be of further assistance and please positively rate my answer.

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