Under what conditions can a landlord change the locks?

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Under what conditions can a landlord change the locks?

The tenants have paid the rent; they gave me a 30 day notice. However, after 10 days they turned the gas off and water off. Can I lock them out?

Asked on October 14, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ok, let me try and clarify this for my own sake.  They paid you rent say for the month of October and gave you proper 30 days notice that they intend on vacating.  Then they turned off the gas and water 10 days in to the month. Can you change the locks?  No, you can not.  Not until they turn over their keys at the end of the tenancy, which is when the 30 days is up, if all goes as planned.  What you want to claim here is that they have abandoned the property, correct?  Well, I would get a Judge to make that determination before you go in guns a blazing, so to speak.  Say they want to move out gradually without incurring additional expenses and have paid you for the privilege of doing so?  It is not against the law.   


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