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Tina we just found out that our tenant changed the lock on…

Customer Question
Hi tina we just...

Hi tina we just found out that our tenant changed the lock on his door in the second floor apartment. Is this legal in new jersey?

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

New jersey

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

That should not be legal in any state and what do you mean by paperwork.

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

Also they moved their father in law in and the lease states he cannot stay longer than 4 weeks at a time. he has been here much longer. my mother is only interested in the rent, me i am really angry cause they play these games. sorry i sound so mean but i am mad.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
11/27/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42,555
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified

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.

.

Have they given you a key to the new lock?

.

Does your lease prohibit them changing the locks?

.

Who is the landlord here....you or mother?

.

.

thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
my mother is the landlord. I have to look at the lease but doesn't every state require a tenant give a key to their landlord and first of all get permission. That seems to be obvious to me. Not to yoU?
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
why should i pay you more money when i just paid 66 dollars?
Real Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I am going to opt out as I am only trying to help you and you appear to be a little hostile for some reason...

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
the hostility is not towards you I'm mad that these people did this and i can't get a straight answer, that seems obvious to me.
I'm sorry you feel this way.
myra
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
ty anyway
]
Real Estate Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 7 months ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
Verified

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept (I believe that is what you were referring to when discussing additional money).

Your previous expert opted out and I have opted in. Unless a contract exists between the landlord and tenant which specifically states that the tenant can change locks, then they cannot. Changing a lock without permission in contract or from the landlord is equivalent to materially altering the property. In addition, it creates a safety issue if/when the landlord needs to enter the property in an emergency (see HERE).

The tenant can technically be evicted for doing this. Let me know if you need more information on how to do this, and/or anything else.

"I STRIVE FOR FIVE!" My goal is to answer your question to your satisfaction. Please rate with five stars (★★★★★) and click SEND. It does not cost anything extra to rate. You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars. Rating my answer the bottom two stars or failing to submit the rating reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. If you are not satisfied for whatever reason, or, have follow up questions, please simply reply with SEND before or after rating and let's continue to chat until you are satisfied. This is what I am here for.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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