What rights do I have to store items in the basement of my rental?

UPDATED: Feb 22, 2012

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What rights do I have to store items in the basement of my rental?

I have things in our basemant that I would want to keep like X-mas things and my kids crib. However, our landlord is saying if it is not all out in the next several days it will be going in the trash. Can he legally do this?

Asked on February 22, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


Trevor Clement / Law Office of Trevor A. Clement, LLC

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what your lease says.  If the lease gives you permission to use the basement for storage, then you have a right to it.  If it does not say that you can use the basement, then you cannot.

If you do not have a lease, it gets a little trickier.  How long have you been storing your stuff there?  Has he ever given you permission to store things there?  Are there other tenants that use the area?  However, the odds are that if you don't have a lease, you can't keep your stuff there.

That does not mean he can just throw it out.  He would need to give you notice and reasonable time to remove it.  He is going to then argue that you abandoned it and he had the right to remove it.  A court might not agree with that, but that's not really a fight you want to have because you would lose your stuff and maybe even the case.

Short answer: you can't store your stuff in the basement.  You are renting the apartment only and if he does not want your things in the basement, they have to go.

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