CanI enter a vacant rental after locks have been changed by the tenant but before the court date for the eviction?

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CanI enter a vacant rental after locks have been changed by the tenant but before the court date for the eviction?

A tenant that I have served eviction papers to has changed the locks on the house. The court date is in about 2 weeks or so but it appears the they have moved out. Can I get a locksmith out tomorrow to change the locks? Or do I have to wait until court date?

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are the landlord and it appears to you that the premises subject to an eviction order have actually been vacated by your forner tenants, I would go to the premises and have new locks placed on the rental to safeguard your property.

You should take a friend with you as well as a camera to depict what you see to make sure that the former tenant has actually left the premises for good. The last thing you want at this stage in the eviction process is for the former tenant to claim that you used self help in locking him or her out the the unit before final move out.


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