If my personal property is in a rental house I use to live in. Do I have a legal right to my things without paying the landlord for them?

I was leasing a house “By Owner” over a year ago. It was a one year lease but 6 months into my lease I was arrested for DWI and had to do some jail time. Due to this I broke my lease agreement and was not able to remove my things from the house. I recently found out the house has not be leased out since and some of my belongings are still in the house. The house is now on the market for sale as a fixer-uper. My landlord knew I was in jail and knew how to reach me but I never received an eviction notice. Do I have a legal right to any of my belongings in the house?

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, your former landlord is obligated to allow you access to your belongings left behind in the rental at no charge. I would write the landlord a letter after you make a telephone call to him or her seeking the items to arrange for a convenient time and date to retrieve them.

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