Is mylandlord liable for property that has gone missing from my unit?

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Is mylandlord liable for property that has gone missing from my unit?

I moved the majority of my possessions out of the apartment 3 weeks ago, leaving vacuum and cleaning supplies totally about $100 worth. 2 weeks later I return to the apartment and my things are gone. It is a 4th floor apartment; the door was completely locked. The only people with keys are me and the apartment company. They insist they didn’t enter my apartment and that they are not responsible.

Asked on August 19, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unless your lease specifically said that the landlord was responsible for any losses, thefts, etc. from your apartment, then in the absence of evidence, they would not be responsible. A landlord does not normally warranty or guarantee the tenant's belongings. Even if it is hard to see how the items could be stolen other than by the landlord's employees, the landlord would not automatically be responsible. You could of course try to sue and try to prove that it was the landlord or its staff, but (1) without more evidence than you describe, that would be difficult; and (2) it would certainly not be cost effective--even in small claims court, it would not be worthwhile. Sometimes, there is no recourse for losses or thefts, and this is likely one of those times.


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