Can a landlord have a tenant’s trailer hauled off, if they are late with a rental payment for the lot?

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Can a landlord have a tenant’s trailer hauled off, if they are late with a rental payment for the lot?

He had it hauled off with all of the tenant’s contents inside and won’t tell her where it’s at. She called the police and all they said was that it was a civil case and they couldn’t do anything about it. What can she do to get her possessions back?

Asked on April 24, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If a tenant is late with the rent, the landlord may bring an eviction proceeding through the courts, but may NOT simply remove a tenant's trailer or other  belongings.

2) The police should intervene--what this landlord did is theft. Try talking to someone higher up in the police, to state police, to county sheriff, to prosecutor's office, etc.--a landlord cannot simply take someone else's belongings.

3) In addition, the tenant may sue the landlord for theft (the exact kind will depend on all the circumstances) and for improper eviction as well.Suing for improper eviction can, if the tenant wins, result in monetary damages and/or being reinstated in possession.

It wold be well worth the tenant's time and trouble to consult with an attorney; she has rights and therefore should have some recourse against the landlord in this situation.


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