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Ex-tenant broke into locked unit to take his stuff - Landlord Forum thread 300918







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Ex-tenant broke into locked unit to take his stuff by Eddie (Maryland) on August 7, 2013 @12:07

                              
An ex-tenant of mine recently broke into his old rental unit and removed some property that I said was no longer his, and I am thinking of filing police charges.

I live in a house and rent out a few bedrooms to college students. This particular ex-tenantís lease ended on 7/31, but I gave him until the end of this weekend (8/4) to move out all of his things because he asked for extra time. He was very lazy and aggravated me and abused my kindness during that period, and he didn't get his things out fast enough. On 8/5, he came back almost at midnight (I was already in bed) for what I thought would be the final visit to collect the last of his things. I made him give back his keys to my house at that time.

However, when I woke up the next morning (yesterday), I saw that he had still not finished removing his possessions. Very angry, I sent him an email telling him that I now considered whatever was left to be abandoned property, that I would do what I wanted with it (a passage in his lease allows me to do this), and he was no longer welcome at my house.

Even though he didn't have keys, my ex-tenant somehow found a way to get into my house yesterday when I was at work, and he removed his things, which included a mini-fridge and a large coffee table. My other tenants reported that he called them asking to be let into the house, but they refused. While they were away during the daytime, he somehow gained entry. He only took his things and didnít actually damage anything in the house.

I really don't care about his possessions, but I'm very mad about the disrespect he showed me over the last week and most of all by breaking into my house. I'm thinking about filing police charges, and am trying to find a witness in the neighborhood or to get him to admit to me through email that he broke in.

Anyway, what is my legal recourse here, if any? I called the police and they said they couldnít arrest him and Iíd have to go to the Commissionerís office to file a complaint. Different laypeople Iíve asked about this have different opinions over whether he committed a crime (breaking and entering, trespassing).
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Re: Ex-tenant broke into locked unit to take his stuff by anonymous on August 7, 2013 @12:27 [ Reply ]
Forget about it; let it go.
Re: Ex-tenant broke into locked unit to take his stuff by Bill on August 7, 2013 @12:53 [ Reply ]
Does your lease clause conform to state law in regard to abandoned property? If the tenant did not damage anything and took only his property, what is it you hope to gain?
Re: Ex-tenant broke into locked unit to take his stuff by P-Bone (NY and OH) on August 7, 2013 @13:09 [ Reply ]
Change the locks and be done with it. Just because he handed in the keys doesn't mean he still doesn't have a copy. I would just be done with it, he removed his stuff and didn't do any damage or steal anything and it's only been 3 days. If he was coming back in over 30 days from moving out and you followed all the laws with regard to abandoned property, then maybe I would be concerned, but right now I would just make sure the property is secure with new locks and instruct the remaining tenants to continue disallowing him access to the unit he has been legally removed from.
Re: Ex-tenant broke into locked unit to take his stuff by Eddie (Maryland) on August 7, 2013 @13:34 [ Reply ]
The guy was in many ways a bad tenant for the past year. He was frequently causing problems like filling up the sink with his dirty dishes (which caused a roach infestation I had to fix), not taking out his trash, leaving his window open to vent out heat in the winter, breaking a glass coffee table, and paying his rent late. I cut him so many breaks until I finally just started fining him money per the lease every time he broke the rules.

This protracted move-out was all of that hassle again in miniature. He only had one bedroom's worth of stuff to move out and it could have been done in an afternoon. I gave him an extra four days anyway--again because I'm a nice guy--and he just abused my kindness and barely did any work. I know he was just partying with his friends and drinking. On 8/3, he came by for a few hours to clean out his things, and I peeked into his room and saw him passed out face-down on the floor.

On Monday 8/5 he was already past the extended deadline, and he showed up almost at midnight, waking me up. He also fell down the front steps for some reason while taking out the maybe one shoebox of stuff he decided to remove.

So yes, by 8/6, I was rather angry at him and fed up. And then he broke into my house when I wasn't around.
Re: Ex-tenant broke into locked unit to take his stuff by Anonymous on August 7, 2013 @14:02 [ Reply ]
I can certainly understand why you're angry and fed up with him, but he's gone now and you need to let it go. P-Bone gave you excellent advice--change the locks (he could easily have another key). Instruct the other tenants to not let him in, and then move on.
Re: Ex-tenant broke into locked unit to take his stuff by Al (CT) on August 7, 2013 @14:27 [ Reply ]
"removed some property that I said was no longer his"

"I now considered whatever was left to be abandoned property"

The law determines what is abandoned property and when. Please be careful and follow the laws in your state regarding this.
Re: Ex-tenant broke into locked unit to take his stuff by Katiekate (New York) on August 7, 2013 @14:29 [ Reply ]
For your own peace of mine (to say nothing of avoiding ulcers), try to stay focused on the business of being a landlord...let the crap slide.

There isn't any reason to try to go after this tenant except he made you mad by not doing what you wanted WHEN you wanted it.

Be glad he is gone. Move on
Re: Ex-tenant broke into locked unit to take his stuff by BOB on August 7, 2013 @14:41 [ Reply ]
Eddie, I only wish some of my old tenants would come back and get some of their stuff. I got two garages full of bikes, chest of dwawers,T.V.s,lamps.chairs.ect..
two times a year I take the crap to thrift stores after giving whats good to churces.
Let It Go Ed.
Re: Ex-tenant broke into locked unit to take his stuff by Eddie (Maryland) on August 7, 2013 @19:20 [ Reply ]
I might let it go. Even though it's obvious he broke in and took the stuff, I'm told I won't have a case anyway unless I can find an eyewitness or unless he admits in writing that he did it. No luck on either so far.

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