CanI change the locks if Isubletted to a guy who has breached the lease?

UPDATED: Sep 6, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

CanI change the locks if Isubletted to a guy who has breached the lease?

He agreed no alcohol or drugs but there are empty alcohol bottles all over my apartment. I served him notice to quit. He has no proof of living here – not on the lease, no bills, no mail here.

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, you may not change the locks--if you do, you will be engaging in an illegal eviction and could be liable to your subtenant.

That does not mean you can't evict him for a reach of the lease--you can--but all evictions must be done through the legal system and courts.

Also, you can't evict him for no alcohol unless that was in the lease and agreed to at the time of signing. Once the lease is entered into, the landlord may not add additional terms, conditions, or requirements. So you might not be in a position to evict, unless this really is a lease violation, and not a violation of some other promise he made to you or discussion the two of you had.

Note that if there is no written lease, he is a month to month tenant, and you may give him 30 days notice terminating the tenancy and then evict him if he does not leave.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption