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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 30147
Experience:  Attorney
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If a landlord's tenant sublets or rents a room out in

Customer Question

If a landlord's tenant sublets or rents a room out in breach of contract but the landlord doesn't give eviction papers to tenant or the party renting without a lease with landlord ( but has hand written lease agreement with third party signature between
tenant and party ), and that landlord knowingly accepts monies paid by that party, is then liable or not liable in any way if his tenant commits domestic violence, burglary ( breaking lock on party's door ), theft of property, etc.? The landlord was aware
of the party's fear of returning to remove her belongings after tenant threatened her and scared her out of the house and said he would help, but failed to do so. He knew the tenant had broken in party's door and also had multiple communications from the party
regarding retrieval and assistance. Is it possible to file a claim against landlord's insurance for theft of property?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

A landlord is never responsible for the criminal acts of a third party, whether the party is legally renting the property or not. There is unfortunately no ability to make a landlord pay when someone steals the tenant's belongings. Even if he offered to help, for him to be liable, he'd have to have specifically promised to protect her belongings (rather than offering to protect HER when she came back to get them), and he'd have to have been negligent in NOT protecting them - but a third party criminal act usually supersedes liability for any mistake someone else makes.

The tenant whose items were stolen has the ability to sue the person who took those items for the value, plus pain and suffering. And if she does not have one, she may want to seek a restraining order immediately.

I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand.

Good luck.