Can my landlord throw mybelongings intothe trash and change the locks withouta legal eviction?

Asked on December 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you move out after your lease is up (without an eviction) and your state law says that after a certain amount of time and a certain amount of notices given to you, you do not pick up your belongings, then the stuff is considered abandoned. If abandoned in this situation, then your landlord can sell, throw out or a combination thereof. If in a situation wherein you are not paying rent or you do something to break your lease and you need to be evicted, your are correct. Your landlord cannot throw away anything in your unit or in a locked area that is included in your lease (say a garage or locker) without a legal eviction. Even after eviction, the landlord still has to wait the requisite amount of time to throw out your things and be legal doing it.


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