What to do if I rented a room and was illegally evicted?

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What to do if I rented a room and was illegally evicted?

I rented a room in a apartment and the individual signed a agreement with me stating that I lived there. When I stated I was moving because she was not paying bills on time, she refused to return my money. After I notified the property manager, she changed the locks, damaged my clothing with bleach, and stole my ipod and camcorder. What can I do legally?

Asked on September 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If the property manager used self help to evict you by changing the locks to the rental and taking your proeprty, you have a basis for a wrongful eviction against that person as well as the owner of the rental since his or her agent caused you the damages.

In all states in this country, in order to evict a tenant, proper procedures need to be done. For example, a thirty (30) day notice of termination of a tenant's lease by the landlordis typical. This was not done in your situation.

I suggest the following:

1. write the property manager and the landlord over what transpired asking for a stated amount for your damages to be paid by a set date.

2. if you do not get payment as requested, your option is to consult with a landlord tenant attorney, consult with a "legal aid" program, or file a small claims court action on your own.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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