Can my roommate lock me out and keep my things if they thing thatI stole $600 from them?

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Can my roommate lock me out and keep my things if they thing thatI stole $600 from them?

I share the apartment with a couple, they are on the lease, I am not. Recently $600 was stolen out of the apartment; it was not me. They changed the locks while I was at work and won’t let me back in to retrieve my property until I pay. What recourse do I have to get my belongings back?

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Utah

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you are a subtenant of the occupants of a unit, they cannot use self help to evict you over some dispute about $600.00 by changing your locks and refusing you access. What was done is improper and may be a basis for a civil lawsuit.

Given the circumstances that you have written about, I would contact a landlord tenant attorney to see about you getting access to your property. Given what was done to you, I doubt that you would want to continue residing in this rental. Possibly you may have a viable cause of action against you roommate landlord best addressed by a landlord tenant attorney.


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