Can the landlord of commercial property change the locks after getting a judgment of possession but before the warrant is executed?

Landlord changed the locks 2 days after receiving a judgment at trial. No warrant or notice of eviction was served.

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. If there has been a judgment of possession but not set date for the actual eviction then most likely the changing of the locks by the landlord was a bit premature in that in most situations where there has been a judgment for possession the court set a date when the holdover tenant must be out of the premises that were the subject of the lawsuit.

From what you have written, it appears that the changing of the locks by the landlord was improper and was a clear example of improper self help by the landlord. If the judgment of possession had a set date for the tenant to be out of the premises and the landlord changed the locks before that date, then the action by the landlord was improper.


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.