If our landlord’s son broke into our house while we were in the process of moving out, what can we do?

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If our landlord’s son broke into our house while we were in the process of moving out, what can we do?

We are in moving out of a house that we rented for 8 years. Our belongings are in between houses but rent is paid for this month. We found out that the landlord’s son went to the house and took some of our belongings. We have witnesses and they were told by the son that he was cleaning out to move in. What by law can we do about this? I would like my stuff back and the landlord is denying it.

Asked on August 13, 2011 Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the landlord's son went into your rented unit without permission and took some of your possessions, you have a legal action against him for taking those items

Since the landlord is denying that his son took your belongs and you have witnesses to the contrary, you have the following options:

1. contact the son requeting the immediate return of the taken items by a set date;

2. if not returned by the set date, file an action against both the landlord and the son in small claims court for the fair market value of the items taken. The son seems to have been acting as an agent for the landlord and as such, the landlord is responsible for the wrongful acts of his son.

3. consider making a police report over the apparent "theft" and "burglary". Do not use any threats or mention of a criminal action againbst the son or landlord as leverage for any civil matter. That would be improper.

Good luck.


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