What to do if a body shop terminatedits lease early and the landlord changed the locks with $1500 in parts for my car inside and refuses to give them back?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if a body shop terminatedits lease early and the landlord changed the locks with $1500 in parts for my car inside and refuses to give them back?

We brought a used car to an auto body shop to be painted in exchange for some cash and a truck. They delivered the car but some parts were left at the shop to finish up. They gave us a key to the shop and told us to pick up our stuff the next weekbut we couldn’t get out until a day or so later. However, when we finally did get there the key did not work. We got a hold of the landowner a few days later and she said she changed the locks because the tenant broke the lease and left. She will not give us the parts back because the tenant owed her money. She’s selling the parts.

Asked on February 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The landlord is commiting theft if he or she is selling parts which belong to you--it does not matter what the tenant may owe the landlord, or what arrangements they may have had; the landlord has no right to sell the parts of third parties.

Obviously, a hurdle for you may be proving ownership--do you have receipts, bills of sale, etc.?

Assuming you can prove ownership, you might first go to the police and indicate that the landlord has taken property belonging to you--the police may help you. If they do not, deciding that this matter is better handled by the courts, you would sue the landlord. You would go to court for a "temporary restaining order," ordering the landlord to not sell the parts and to turn the over to you. Contact your court, the clerk's office: they should provide information as to what to do.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption