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

Answers:

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.


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.