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My landlord decided not to renew my lease that expired 9/30.

Customer Question
My landlord decided not...

My landlord decided not to renew my lease that expired 9/30. He gave me 30 days prior notice but as I was unable to vacate he sued for eviction. Judge ruled in his favor that I had to be out by 11/30. Landlord texted me on 11/30 saying he was filing with sheriff for physical eviction on 12/1. Received text 12/3 (today) saying he is changing locks tomorrow. Can he legally do that without me getting any notification from sheriff’s office that eviction was filed?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

New York State, Westchester County.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

I have an email from landlord’s lawyer on 11/29 stating that unless I was able to make an agreed upon payment that would allow me to stay through 12/31, the landlord was filing with the sheriff’s office on 12/1. I was unable to make that payment but did not receive any notification from the lawyer or sheriff confirming papers were filed. The landlord and I exchanged texts where I told him that I was in process of moving belongings but could not commit to being out by today, 12/3. Just received a text from landlord about an hour ago saying he was having locks changed tomorrow.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I need to know if my landlord can change the locks on my rental tomorrow. Judge ruled in his favor that I had to be out by 11/30. Negotiated a possible payment with landlord’s lawyer that would allow me to stay til 12/31. Received email from lawyer on 11/29 reminding me that if I did not make payment papers would be filed with sheriff’s office on 12/1. Could not make payment - landlord and I exchanged texts on 11/30 in which I informed that I was in process of moving stuff but could not commit to be out by 12/3. Just received text about 7:00 eastern 12/31 (tonight) from landlord saying he is changing the locks 12/4. Can he legally do that in Westchester County, NY when

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/5/2017
Lawyer: philip.simmons, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
philip.simmons
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 36,571
Experience: 10 years experience in the law
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Hi, My name is***** am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

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Lawyer: philip.simmons, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

I want to make sure I understand...the judge ordered eviction NLT 11/30, is that correct?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I’m in Westchester County, NY. Landlord did not renew lease and took me to court to get eviction. Judge ruled in his favor that I need to vacate by 11/30. I have not vacated yet. Landlord himself keeps texting asking if I’m out and threatening ti change locks. His lawyer told me on 11/30 that papers would be sent to Sheriff 12/1. No word from lawyer since then, only landlord. Not even sure if he filed yet with Sheriff. I have a daughter and am having trouble getting help to get our stuff out, let alone find place to crash while looking for place. Can homeowner legally change the locks before Sheriff eviction?
Lawyer: philip.simmons, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Technically, Sheriff needs to evict you, before he changes the locks. That said, if the court ordered eviction on 11/30, and you are still in the property? And he changed locks today? From a practical perspective you would not have recourse...you would not be able to sue for "wrongful eviction"...since the court has already ordered eviction and you are in violation of that order.

Now...if he changes the locks before the sheriff shows up, he has a duty to safeguard your property (he has to store your gear for a reasonable period and allow you to recover that property).

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I just want to be clear- he hasn’t changed locks yet. So when/if he threatens again I can remind him that he has a legal obligation to safeguard my property and allow me to recover it? I’m not sure if he even filed with Sheriff yet.
Lawyer: philip.simmons, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Correct...he can change the locks...but he has to give you the opportunity to collect your property if he does.

Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the accept button, its the only way I get credit for my work.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Just one more question- when landlord does file with Sheriff will I only get 72 hrs notice from Sheriff?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
What I meant was - will the sherrif give me at least 72 hrs notice before he shows up? Sheriff won’t just come without my being served prior notice, right?
Lawyer: philip.simmons, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

In my experience the Sheriff will contact you before they show up...but they do NOT have to. There is no law requiring they contact you first...but typically will do so

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

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Lawyer: philip.simmons, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Hi
Experts on this site (myself) are compensated ONLY if the customer (yourself) "rate" or "accept" the answer.

Do you have more questions regarding this?

Thanks for your understanding
Phil

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