If all of my belongings were thrown away by my landlord and I was never contacted, what are my options?

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If all of my belongings were thrown away by my landlord and I was never contacted, what are my options?

I have a business that I recently moved to a new location. I have a lease that is not up until the end of next month. I moved my business but I am still paying rent on the first space, even though I am currently not using it. I moved most of my essential belongings 9 days ago. I had a customer call and ask where I was located but I had left signs on the door to inform customers where to go. I called the landlord and he informed me that he took the signs down. He also cleaned out the entire space since he wanted to show it to potential renters and said it looked a mess.

Asked on February 16, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you were still paying rent, you still had legal possession of the space, even if you were not using it or were in the process of moving. The landlord had no right to enter your space--space that you had a perfect right to use or store things in--and throw out your belongings; you could sue the landord for the value of what the landlord discarded, because when someone intentionally destroys or discards your belongings, they are liable for them.


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