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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38228
Experience:  17 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I let a friend rent my guest room for several months this

Customer Question

I let a friend rent my guest room for several months this year. Kicked him out going on 4 weeks ago. I did not stop him from coming back onto my property to retrieve his person possessions. He had 4 or 5 days off of work to come over. He finally came over, spent 6 hours messing around in my barn. Took not only his fishing equipment but mine as well. I'm also missing ice chests and lawn chairs and God only knows what else. He left behind a few items in my house and has been here 3 more times without bothering to retrieve those items. He owes me money $185 for Dish TV, $120 for electric bill and $20 for water. Now, almost a month later, he wants to be allowed onto my property for the few items he left. So, my question is: by law, do I have to allow him access to my property and those items. By the way, the final straw for kicking him out was me having to call the police to come deal with him. He would not stop screaming and cussing at me and was quickly becoming out of control. I asked him to leave the house but he refused. I was afraid of him at that point, as he is VERY strong.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Texas. San Jacinto county
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: What do you mean?
JA: What confuses you?
Customer: Has what exactly been filed or reported?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

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So, my question is: by law, do I have to allow him access to my property and those items

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Yes, until you formally terminate his right to retrieve his personal property. When he left and left his stuff there, he created a "bailment" which makes you responsible for his personal property until you terminate it. You can terminate it by sending him a written letter stating he has 7 days to come get his stuff after which you will consider it abandoned and dispose of it. Send it both first class as well as certified mail so you have proof of mailing it.

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Then if he doesn't come get all his stuff in that 7 days, on day 8 you can do whatever you want with it..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
What about the money he owes me?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Am I allowed to refuse him access to his property until he pays me?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
What about the money he owes me? Am I allowed to refuse him access to his possessions until he pays me?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Sorry for the delay, had to be out of my office until just now..

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

If he owes you money, you can't legally hold his stuff hostage until he pays you. Your recourse is to sue him in small claims court for what he owes you and get a judgment against him for that. You don't need an attorney and the clerks will have the summons and complaint forms you need to file to start the case. You also get your court costs back in the judgment as well..

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thanks

Barrister

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Hello again,

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I just wanted to touch base with you and check in.

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Did you have any further questions I can help with?

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Thanks much

Barrister