After you give 30 days notice, can your landlord keep your personal property if you still owe rent?

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2011

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After you give 30 days notice, can your landlord keep your personal property if you still owe rent?

After giving my 30 days notice, I went to collect my property from the old house. My landlord said since I still owe her rent/back rent and that she will keep my items until I can pay her off.

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, your landlord cannot keep your personal property in California as any form of security for unpaid rent if you are unwilling to allow such. If a landlord is owed unpaid rent, he or she has the several options:

1. have the tenant sign a written document such as a promissory note agreeing to the amount owed with payments over time at a set allowable rate of interest.

2. sue the tenant for the amount owed, obtain a judgment and then try to collect upon it.

If your landlord keeps items belonging to you until you pay owed rent against your wishes, I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant attorney.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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