What to do if being accused of the theft of items that were in fact given to me?

UPDATED: Dec 11, 2011

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What to do if being accused of the theft of items that were in fact given to me?

I rented a house from a lady. When I moved in she left behind furniture and said that I could have it since she didn’t want it anymore. When my lease was up I moved out of her home and took the things with me. Then I got a message on my phone from a police officer stating to call him back. When I did he informed me he was glad I called because he was about to issue a warrant for my arrest; the landlord was claiming I had stolen her furniture. I explained to him the situation and that my mom was there to confirm the items had been given to me. He told me I had to return the items because she had a witness too. What are my rights?

Asked on December 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have been accused of taking furniture that the landlord claims is his or hers from a prior tenant but the prior tenant allegedly gave the furniture to you, the best way for you to resolve the situation is for you to get a statement from the former tenant in writing stating that the furniture is yours.

If you are unable to do so, then you have to make a decision as to whether give back the furniture to the former landlord even though you believe it is yours or continue to keep possession of it and run the risk of a civil lawsuit or worse yet a criminal charge.

I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant attorney about your situation before you make a final decision.

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.

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