Can a landlord have a tenant’s trailer hauled off, if they are late with a rental payment for the lot?

UPDATED: Apr 24, 2011

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Can a landlord have a tenant’s trailer hauled off, if they are late with a rental payment for the lot?

He had it hauled off with all of the tenant’s contents inside and won’t tell her where it’s at. She called the police and all they said was that it was a civil case and they couldn’t do anything about it. What can she do to get her possessions back?

Asked on April 24, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) If a tenant is late with the rent, the landlord may bring an eviction proceeding through the courts, but may NOT simply remove a tenant's trailer or other  belongings.

2) The police should intervene--what this landlord did is theft. Try talking to someone higher up in the police, to state police, to county sheriff, to prosecutor's office, etc.--a landlord cannot simply take someone else's belongings.

3) In addition, the tenant may sue the landlord for theft (the exact kind will depend on all the circumstances) and for improper eviction as well.Suing for improper eviction can, if the tenant wins, result in monetary damages and/or being reinstated in possession.

It wold be well worth the tenant's time and trouble to consult with an attorney; she has rights and therefore should have some recourse against the landlord in this situation.

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 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.

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