If I have office space that I rented out month-to-month with no lease and the tenant has not paid rent this month, can I enter the office and change the locks?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I have office space that I rented out month-to-month with no lease and the tenant has not paid rent this month, can I enter the office and change the locks?

The tenant’s phone is disconnected.

Asked on February 15, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you may not enter and change the locks unless the tenant actually surrendered possession to you (e.g. returned key, said he's moving out, etc.). Otherwise, you need to bring an eviction action (such as for nonpaymeent of rent) and seek a judgment of possession in your favor, followed by a lock-out (on a writ or warrant of removal) done by a constable, sheriff, or similar officer. If the tenant does not pay and does not show for  the trial date for the eviction action, this should be a quick, inexpensive, streamlined procedure.


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 with SHA-256 Encryption