Can my co-owner change the locks and refuse to give me a key

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Can my co-owner change the locks and refuse to give me a key

My co-owner and I have been in a disagreement for months. We own both the
property and the business 50/50. He has changed the locks and security code and
refuses to give me a copy. What can I do at the point to legally gain access to
my business and property. We are in Illinois.
Thank you,
Adam

Asked on July 18, 2016 under Business Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, he cannot do this: you have equal rights to possession and use, and neither one of you can exclude the other. To get access, you have to bring a legal action seeking a court order requiring him to allow you access (and possibly also monetary compensation for any losses or costs this caused yiu). You can bring the action on an "emergent" (think "urgent" or "emergency" basis to get into court in days, not months. Bringing an emergent action can be procedurally complex; you are advised to retain an attorney, such as a landlord-tenant attorney, to help you.


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