What to do if my landlord is accusing me of stealing furniture?

Prior to moving in, she sent email with a list of items she wanted me to keep for her in apartment. Email states I am “free to change. Basically if you don’t need furniture or other items, you can throw them away.” Can she press charges because I took/gave away furniture not on her “keep” list. FYI: every item on her list was kept for her in great condition and she has broken our rental contract claiming she sold apt suddenly but she is now staying in apartment.

Asked on September 15, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the landlord had given you permission to dispose of furniture, then you  did nothing wrong in doing so; from what you write, you would seem to have a good defense to her claim or any legal action taken against you on this basis. If the landlord illegal evicted you, on the other hand, you may be able to sue her for reinstatement in the rental unit and/or for monetary compensation; you may wish to consult with a landlord-tenant attorney about your options.

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