What are a tenant’s rights if they are locked out?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are a tenant’s rights if they are locked out?

A friend asked me to rent a trailer he has on some property that he’s renting. He and his girlfriend are already renting the house on the property and I was to rent the trailer. After a month his girlfriend decided she didn’t like me and convinced him to kick me off the property. I left to run some errands and while gone he locked the gate and from the gate saw that he added his own lock to the trailer door which had my lock on it already. I was effectively locked from the property and prevented from getting any of my belongings. My rent is paid in full and am at a loss to explain his actions .

Asked on May 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What you friend did is illegal: a landlord may *not* lock out a tenant on his or her own, but instead can only evict by bringing a legal action through the courts. Similarly, a landlord may *not* evict a tenant who is honoring all his or her lease terms (e.g. paying rent on time) during the term of the lease--though not that if you don't have a written lease, you're a month to month tenant, and the landlord may terminate your tenancy on one month's notice. Certainly, that a landlord or a family member "didn't like" a tenant is not valid grounds for eviction. Finally, if a tenant is evicted properly, the landlodrd many not prevent the tenant from getting his or her belongings. In short, from what you write, there appear to be several violations of your rights; you may be able to sue for illegal eviction and for access to your belongings.


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