Can a landlord lockout a tenant?

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Can a landlord lockout a tenant?

We received notice of intent to terminate our rental agreement for non-payment. I then talked to my landlord and told him we had the money; he said that was fine. His wife called yesterday and said that they didn’t want the money and we had to be out today or the locks would be changed and we wouldn’t have access to the house or our personal belongings. Is this legal and do we have any rights?

Asked on January 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In answer to your question: no, no, no: they can not lock you out unless and until there is an order of eviction.  And then they would not do it the marshall or sheriff would.  If he tries call the police to break the lock.  And then go down to court and file an action against him and his wife.  He must propelry serve you with a notice (generally to pay or quit under the law) and then when you do not leave, to start an action for eviction in court.  Tell them that if they try you will file a claim for harrassment and unlawful eviction.  Good luck. 


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