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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27178
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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I am in a situation where I had not paid rent to my

Customer Question

I am in a situation where I had not paid rent to my landlord, who also lives on the property with me. I had fallen on hard times and was staying intermittently with some family in the area and he told me that he wanted me to get my stuff out by the end of August. I told him with my work weeks, I didn't know how quickly I could get there to retrieve the things but I would do my best. When I contacted him in the first week of August, offering to pay him the deficit and asking to retrieve my things, he told me all of the "abandoned property" at his house was gone and the locks had been changed. I had thousands of dollars worth of furniture, family heirlooms. I obviously got upset because I was never sent an eviction notice or even given the courtesy of "hey, your stuff is on the curb" I do know that some of the things in the house that are mine are still there, i.e couch, wall art, pots and pans, etc. He will not arrange a time to meet me to get them and has since stopped returning my calls. This address is the one listed on my license and I am also still receiving mail there. What can I do?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 11 months ago.

Good morning. I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. What he has done is ILLEGAL. The landlord CAN NOT use self help to evict you from the property and simply dispose of your items, change the locks and do anything else to force you to vacate. The landlord would need to give you the proper 3 day notice to pay the rent or vacate and then if you failed to do so, proceed through the court to evict you. In this case, you can sue him and go after him for the damages suffered. Moreover, that is where you reside and since the address is on your license and that is where you live, you can contact a locksmith and gain entrance to your home, if he locked you out. You can not keep the key from him and would need to give him a copy but you have a right to enter. You can also try contacting the police and seeing if they will get involved and assist but they may say this is civil, not criminal. No matter, you can and should sue him and can collect damages

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