Can I move furniture out of my renters’room if they owe me rent?

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Can I move furniture out of my renters’room if they owe me rent?

I have a couple who are renting a room in my house. The furniture in the room belongs to me. They share our kitchen, living room and bathrooms. There is no lease. They were given 30 days notice to move out by tomorrow, and have not paid rent for last month. Am I within my rights to move my furniture out of the room they occupy? If so, what are my rights concerning permission to enter the room? Am I within my rights to remove any of their belongings (incl. clothes, toiletries, boxes of things, kitchen utensils and food from the freezer) from the shared areas of the house?

Asked on June 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In order to legally remove a tenant they must be served valid notice (typically 30 days written). If they do not vacate by the time specified you will have to file for an "unlawful detainer" (i.e. eviction). If the court rules in your favor and the tenant still remains on the premises a sheriff will remove them, using physical force if necessary. Under no circumstances use self-help remedies such as you suggest (e.g. removing belongings, furniture, etc). If you do you can open yourself up to both civil and criminal penalties. Illegal eviction is taken quite seriously by the courts.

At this point you should speak to an attorney that specializes in landlord tenant matters or at least a tenants rights association for further information.


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