Need to know our legal rights

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Need to know our legal rights

I really need an answer to a personal question if you can help me. We have a garage in Sumter SC that we have been renting out to the same man for about 15 years. He passed away 2 weeks ago. Now his kids think they can change the locks on the doors and go in and take everything out and not let us even get in our own property. None of this would really matter except we left a good bit of stuff in there for their dad to use and they were just babies when this all started so they don’t know what’s his and what’s ours. What is our legal option?

Asked on July 2, 2019 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

They have no right to lock the landlord out of property the landlord owns. You can go to country court and bring a legal action traditionally called and action for "unlawful distraint" to get a court order to get back into (i.e. get accedss to) your own property--and if they took anything of yours, you can sue them for its value. Go to county court; the clerk's office should be able to help you with the procedures and forms for this type of legal action.

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.

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