Does my old landlord have the right to break into my property and steal and dispose of my belongings?

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Does my old landlord have the right to break into my property and steal and dispose of my belongings?

I own a mobile that is on my old landlord’s property. I didn’t get it removed in the time that a writ of restitution allowed me. 3 months later I asked the landowner if I could get my trailer. They said that I could if I paid $1000 towards what I owed them in past due lot rent. I couldn’t. It’s 2 years later and I filed a replevin; they’re counter sueing me for $12,000 bucks for storage fees and a new roof that they put on. They broke off my locks and stole my belongings and appliances that were still in the trailer. They were granted possession for the “purposes of removal and storage”. Was my property considered abandoned?

Asked on January 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You say that (1)  you waited 3 months after the writ to even inquire into the property; (2) you then waited another 2 years before filing a replevin. Under  those circumstances, the property would absolutely be considered abandoned. Typically, a landlord only needs to retain it for a former tenant for 30 - 60 days after the tenant leaves; you waited over 700 days. The landlord is not obligated to store your prperty forever. The landlord may sue you for storage fees they did incur for any damage you had done to the mobile home. They did not steal your property, not when you ignored the property for over 2 years. This is a case where you simply waited too long.


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