Can a landlord change the lock to your storage unit?

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Can a landlord change the lock to your storage unit?

I rented a storage space in my current apartment. Looks like there was an emergency repair that required access to my space, so the maintenance crew broke my padlock, took out my stuff, and did the repair. They then replaced it with another padlock, left one of those repair notes on the padlock, but didn’t bother notifying me that they changed the lock. I found out a few days later when I tried to access the space late night. Is this illegal?

Asked on September 13, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As I see it from here the landlord did all the right things.  They protected your items by removing them, fixed the problem and the re secured your belongings rather than leaving them out for everyone to steal.  Maybe they should have informed you differently and let you know where and when to pick up a key or who to contact for access and tell you to get a new lock.  But I think that it was handled properly even if it may have been a bit inconvenient to you.  It was an emergency situation.  I don't think that you have any beef here. Think about it.  The alternative could have been negligence.


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