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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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.


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