If my business partner changed the locks on a lease that I’m co-signer on, is this legal?

We are in the middle of closing a business we started and she had the locks changed without telling me or the landlord. When I went to pickup my personal property I couldn’t get in. When I asked her about it she stated I needed to talk to her attorney about it. Is this legal? There has been no reason, just her bullying nature.

Asked on March 20, 2018 under Business Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is not even remotely legal. No tenant (i.e. no lessor) may lock a co-tenant or co-lessor out: your right to enter, occupy, use, etc. the space is equal to hers. A landlord-tenant attorney can help you gain access; if it's not economically worth it to hire a lawyer, go to your county clerk's office at the courthouse (or the "customer service" office, if your courthouse has one), explain you were illegally locked out of rental space, and they can guide you to the correct forms and process.

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