What are my rights if my landlord damagedmy property due to removing items becasue my rent was ays late?

In the beginning of last month my rent was late. Approximately 5 days after it was due, my landlord gave me a 2 weeks notice to move. During that time, she entered my home and removed my items from my home and put them in my mother’s yard. Whereas, it was raining, and about 70% of my items got water damaged and had to be thrown away. I did not give her permission to touch my items or go in there without permission. She had no reason to go in there, nothing was damaged. What are my rights? What can I do?

Asked on October 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can your landlord for the value of everything she caused to be destroyed or lost. A landlord may NOT remove a tenant's belongings from his or her apartment or home, even if the rent was late or the landlord has provided notice terminating tenancy--indeed, even the landlord had already filed the eviction action in court, the landlord *still* could not remove your belongings. Landlords may not evict tenants themselves; they have to go to court, win, and then get a court officer (e.g. a sheriff or constable; it varies by jurisdiction) do the lockout. The landlord would never have the right to do what you write about, and so you can sue her for the losses you've suffered. For smaller amounts, you should probably bring the suit yourself in small claims court; for larger amounts, you should retain an attorney. Good luck.

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