IfI have keys to an apartment butI am not on the lease, doI have the right to enter the apartment?

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

IfI have keys to an apartment butI am not on the lease, doI have the right to enter the apartment?

I was living with someone and when our lease was up. I did not resign but I still have a set of keys and still continue to stay there on different occasions. We recently stopped talking and I still have some personal belongings at the apartment. I have no been able to contact him and I just need to know if I have the right to use my set of keys to retrieve my personal belongings?

Asked on October 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you enter without permission--even if you still have a set of keys--you are at a minimum trepassing; depending on the circumstances, you may be breaking and entering and/or committing burglary. If you are  not on the lease, you clearly do not have the right to enter as a tenant; if you are now broken up with (if it had been romantic) or otherwise not speaking with the tenant, then you likely do not have permission to enter at will, and a court would probably conclude that. You'll have to wait until you can contact the tenant; if you then can't get permission to retrieve your belongings, your recourse is to bring a legal action for a court order that the tenant turn over your property, or pay you the value of anything lost or stolen.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption