How can we get into our building and get our personal items, if our landlord has illegally locked us out?

UPDATED: Jan 20, 2011

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How can we get into our building and get our personal items, if our landlord has illegally locked us out?

We are a small LLC company and are leasing a building. Our landlord locked our building from inside and e-mailed a demand for possession due to non-payment of rent. Our landlord has also filed a UCC lien on our company (personal property, bank accounts, patent rights). Since we have been illegally locked, what is our legal recourse?

Asked on January 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You are correct: your landlord illegally locked you out.  In order for a landlord to be able to padlock a rental or change the locks they must have an order of possession. So your recourse is to file an action in landlord tenant court for possession of the property.  What else you need to do, however, you should discuss with an attorney in the area.  Although it s true that Judge's do not like when landlords "self help" before getting an eviction, your landlord will be suing you for back rent as well.  You need to discuss how to mediate this matter so that both of you get what you are entitled to here.  Good luck.

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 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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