Can a tenant be locked out of their rental after just a 3 day notice?

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2010

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Can a tenant be locked out of their rental after just a 3 day notice?

I lived with my girlfriend and our son in a house we were renting from her grandparents. I was evicted due to late rent. I was not on the lease but had utilities in my name. They put a 3 day notice on the door. On the fourth day I was locked out and told that I could not have my stuff back. That was the first document about eviction. What are my legal rights and can they do that?

Asked on July 19, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an attorney with some experience in landlord-tenant law. (If you cannot afford one, try contacting your state's legal aid or legal services.) As a general matter, the landord may NOT simply lock tenants out. If a tenant is to be evicted, it must through the official court or legal eviction process. That means that after the notice, you should have also received a summons to appear in court; then there should have been a court order issued, setting a date for the eviction. If the landlord bypassed these steps, the eviction might be illegal and you may even be owed some compensation.

Moreover, landlords do NOT have a right to keep a tenant's (or a tenant's guests's) belongings, even in a proper eviction. If they do this, it's theft, and they can face liability.

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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