Can my co-owner change the locks and refuse to give me a key

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my co-owner change the locks and refuse to give me a key

My co-owner and I have been in a disagreement for months. We own both the
property and the business 50/50. He has changed the locks and security code and
refuses to give me a copy. What can I do at the point to legally gain access to
my business and property. We are in Illinois.
Thank you,

Asked on July 18, 2016 under Business Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, he cannot do this: you have equal rights to possession and use, and neither one of you can exclude the other. To get access, you have to bring a legal action seeking a court order requiring him to allow you access (and possibly also monetary compensation for any losses or costs this caused yiu). You can bring the action on an "emergent" (think "urgent" or "emergency" basis to get into court in days, not months. Bringing an emergent action can be procedurally complex; you are advised to retain an attorney, such as a landlord-tenant attorney, to help you.

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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