Once evicted, how do I retrieve the rest of my personal property from my landlord?

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Once evicted, how do I retrieve the rest of my personal property from my landlord?

Once evicted and they lock the doors on you, can a landlord keep your personal property until dues are paid? What do I need to do to get my things back?

Asked on June 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, your landlord may not keep your personal property, unless and only if you have provided that property as security or collateral for the rent. Other than that, the landlord has to allow you to retrieve your property, though if the landlord had to store it temporarily (e.g. while renovating or re-renting the premises), the landlord may charge you the reasonable cost of said storage. You should send your landlord a written demand for your belongings, sent some way you can prove delivery (e.g. certified mail, return receipt requested); if the landlord does not allow you to retrieve your belongings, you could try contacting the police to see if they will help (technically, what the landlord is doing, if he unlawfully detains your property, is a form of theft); however, if the police refuse to intervene, deeming this a "civil," not criminal, matter, you would then bring a lawsuit, seeking either a court order directing the return of your property and/or monetary compensation for its value.


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