Can my landlord remove my belongings without a court order?

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Can my landlord remove my belongings without a court order?

I have belongings in the basement where I live, along with a freezer full of food. The landlord has locked the basement up refuseing to let me in but states that he is going to remove everything and get rid of it.

Asked on February 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, the landlord needs an order of eviction and an order that allows him to change the locks on your rental unit in order to do so.  You can call the police and ask them to help you gain your belongings.  Has your landlord started eviction proceedings against you?  Have you abandoned the apartment but left things in the basement?  Is the basement part of the lease?  I hope that that is the case as that may also impact on your being able to enter the premises.  If your landlord does anything illegal with your belongings - sells them, tosses them - you can ask an attorney about an action for conversion.  Good luck.


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