What do I do if a tenant moved and changed the locks without notice?

UPDATED: May 26, 2012

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What do I do if a tenant moved and changed the locks without notice?

A tenant at the complex I manage hasn’t been seen or heard from in over 3 weeks now and I believe they’ve moved out without notice. I’ve have posted a 24 hour notice of entry already to look for signs of abandonment and tried to gain entrance only to find they’ve changed the locks. How do I proceed from here?

Asked on May 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am unsure what a 24 hour notice of entry is here - something perhaps you are given the right to post under the leae or state law? - but at this point in time it is unclear that you can enter unless there were an emergency situation.  Clipping the locks could be troublesome for you on many levels.  I would start a formal eviction proceeding and seek legal help asap.  Good luck.

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