Is it illegal for my landlord or apt staff to break into a locked cabinet inside a locked closet?

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Is it illegal for my landlord or apt staff to break into a locked cabinet inside a locked closet?

My lease is the standard apartment association lease. I know I am not allowed to replace the locks on my front door without giving them a key but I am a musician and have a lot of very valuable equiptment. I have put a lock on my bedroom closet door, and within the closet I have a storage cabinet which also has a lock on it. Is it breaking and entering or illegal in anyway for apartment staff of maintenance to break the lock on my closet door or the lock on the cabinet that is inside my closet? For instance if I am not home and maintanence stops by, surely they are not allowed to break the lock on the cabinet within the closet? Possibly they might be allowed to break the lock on the closet door?

Asked on April 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your question is somewhat vague, but i will do my best to answer it. If you are renting a unit, it is illegal for a third person to enter it and break open locks to open up containers under most circumstances. Most circumstances are when the tenant is current on the rent, has not vacated the rental, has not breached the lease and there is no emergency situation where the locks need to be broken to get access to whatever may be inside the locked item.


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