Can I force my landlord to return or replace items of mine that he removed froma storage lockerwithout informing me?

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Can I force my landlord to return or replace items of mine that he removed froma storage lockerwithout informing me?

I rent an apartment in a fourplex. I was using, with her permission, another tenant’s storage locker temporarily. The other tenant got evicted and I still had property stored in the locker. I had forgotten about moving it to my own locker due to being busy with other things. While in court for the eviction my neighbor informed the landlord that she was not the one storing items in the locker and that I was. It was less than 2 weeks after she moved her things out of her apartment that I realized I had better get my property moved before the landlord showed the apartment to a new prospective tenant. When I went to unlock the storage locker I found that all had been removed; my property was gone. I have informed the landlord that I want it returned but have been ignored. Can I force the landlord to return or replace my property?

Asked on July 21, 2011 Wisconsin

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to write a letter to the landlord reminding him or her of the permission given to you to store your items in the other tenant's locker and list the items that were stored and they are now gone. Ask if the landlord has the items or knows who has them. Keep a copy of the letter for future reference.

Potentially the landlord may not have taken your belongings. The evicted tenaant may have taken your items or even someone else.

You have a proof problem as to who took your property. You had the ability to unlock the locker. Did the landlord have the ability to unlock the storage unit as well? If the landlord did not take your items, it does not seem that the landlord has any obligation to you for their value unless he or she agreed to be responsible for their loss when you placed them in the unit.


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