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  1. #1

    Default Can You Change the Locks if Your Tenant Still Has Belongings in the Property

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: new york

    after receiving notice over 30 days ago, its now the 1st and she still has stuff in the apartment, which she isnt making much effort to get out. shes had 30 days, has little to begin with (it could all be gone in 25 minutes), and its really just a passive aggressive thing at this point. But she refuses to hand over the keys, and let herself in without permission today. now im stuck babysitting so she doesn't go threw my stuff and steal more. its been 30 days, she hasnt slept here in 90 days. I want to know if its ok to change the locks yet. why should i need a court order if she has given her notice and the time has come and gone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Can I Change the Locks Yet

    I'm guessing this is a roommate or boyfriend/girlfriend situation. Never do that again.

    You will need to evict through the courts and get a write of possession before you can do anything about the locks or her property.

    In you are in NYC, the NYC Housing Court has a guide to the process:

    Outside of NYC your local court website should have similar information.

    Here's something you can advise the tenant of that may induce her to get her stuff out and give you the keys:

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can I Change the Locks Yet

    thank you for your reply

    so the same applies to her stuff, I have to "evict" her stuff? this is really crazy. I understand the laws in place to protect people. but once the 30 days is up and the person is gone, nobody should be able to just keep walking in here because they left "stuff" behind.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Can I Change the Locks Yet

    No, you aren't evicting her stuff, you are evicting her and getting the court's permission to dispose of her stuff.

    That's for YOUR protection.

    However, you are free to change the locks and toss all her stuff in the trash if you are willing to take the risk that you might be sued for the value of her stuff.

    Yeah, being a landlord is crazy. I had 20 years of it. If you don't like the consequences then don't do it anymore.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can I Change the Locks Yet

    adjuster jack,
    thanks again. I have learned valuable lessons from this. I wont say i wont do it again, it all depends on the people you are dealing with. I have gone to the city court website as you suggested, I guess im just not sure what type of order im asking for. if I want the Courts permission to get rid of her things, it seems I would need to proceed as an eviction regardless. I have already filed suit and have a hearing date in July, but thats for security deposit and damages im trying to recover. what would you suggest I do?

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