Landlord holding possessions hostage after eviction.

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Landlord holding possessions hostage after eviction.

Our landlord is not allowing us to collect our personal belongings after our eviction until we pay him half of what we owe him in back rent. We were in Brooklyn, NY. Is this legal or does he have to allow us to pick up our things?

Asked on June 11, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT.  There is no basis for the landlord to hold your property hostage.  Collecting back rent is done via a court procedure and the landlord must prove that he is entitled to back rent  - it is not automatic.  You have the right to your property and you should be able to get it.  I would call the police and ask that they let you in to get your property.  if the police for some reason refuse to help, then file a small claims action against the landlord for conversion of property - this will trigger a response.


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