What are a tenant’s rights with respect to stolen property?

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What are a tenant’s rights with respect to stolen property?

I live in an apartment building that has a basement shed. Recently my shed was broken into by the landlord for the electricians who had to do work. I was not aware of this. Also they never replaced my lock. Recently someone stole all the stuff out of it; about $400 worth of fishing poles. I called the landlord and he basically laughed. What are my options?

Asked on July 25, 2011 New Hampshire

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Read your written lease if you have one between you and the landlord for the proerty you are renting. It may control the issue you ask about. If not, if your landlord gave you permission to store items in the basement shed and he or she knew about the storage by you, the landlord would be responsible for your stolen items in most circumstances.

The rationale is that the landlord's electricians (agents) had to break into the shed and did not replace the lock. The entry into the shed was never made known to you until after your items were taken by someone. The landlord had an obligation to replace the lock broken by his electricians. The absence of the lock resulted in your property being stolen.

Your options are to  make a demand for payment for the stolen items to be done in a set time, and if not paid by the landlord, consider a legal action against him or her. Do the demand in written form keeping a copy for future reference.

 


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