Can a landlord change the locks and refuse entry to collect personal belongings after fire due to the landlords negligence?

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unless there is an order from the police or fire department not allowing entry into the damaged apartment due to safety concerns, the landlord who owns the unit cannot legally prevent the tenant from going back into the unit to retrieve his or her belongings.

Locking the tenant out of his or her own rental even after a fire seems improper under the facts that you have written about. I would consult with a landlord tenant attorney. Good luck.

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