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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37344
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I have a roommate who moved out and left belongings in the

Customer Question

I have a roommate who moved out and left belongings in the room. However, on the date of move-out, she stated that she had returned all keys and was officially moved out. Yesterday, she came in without any prior notice with another key she had and removed things. Is this considered breaking and entering?
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..Did the roommate properly terminate their tenancy with a written notice or did they just move out when their lease was up?.Is she still paying any rent to keep her personal property there?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, she has not paid any rent. I have text messages from her stating that she was officially moved out on 3/31 and that she had returned all keys. No official legal notice though, just keys.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, if she was never evicted and had left her personal property there, she is still legally considered a tenant and you can continue to charge her rent for as long as she has her personal property there. The fact that she said she was moved out would obviously be false if she was still storing her property there. She might not be living there any longer, but she is still considered a tenant until she removes her personal property, affirmatively abandons it, or you terminate the "bailment" by giving her written notice that if she doesn't remove the property in X days, then it will be considered abandoned and disposed of..So her text messages wouldn't prevent her from returning to the property to retrieve her personal property until you either evict her or terminate her bailment. .However, you could rely on the texts if you were to change the locks to prevent any future entry without your consent..Also, you could sue her in small claims court for at least another month's rent since she hasn't actually terminated her tenancy if she is storing her property there..As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years.....thanksBarrister