If my business partner changed the locks on a lease that I’m co-signer on, is this legal?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If my business partner changed the locks on a lease that I’m co-signer on, is this legal?

We are in the middle of closing a business we started and she had the locks changed without telling me or the landlord. When I went to pickup my personal property I couldn’t get in. When I asked her about it she stated I needed to talk to her attorney about it. Is this legal? There has been no reason, just her bullying nature.

Asked on March 20, 2018 under Business Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is not even remotely legal. No tenant (i.e. no lessor) may lock a co-tenant or co-lessor out: your right to enter, occupy, use, etc. the space is equal to hers. A landlord-tenant attorney can help you gain access; if it's not economically worth it to hire a lawyer, go to your county clerk's office at the courthouse (or the "customer service" office, if your courthouse has one), explain you were illegally locked out of rental space, and they can guide you to the correct forms and process.

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.

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