My landlord wants to evict me. Can he lock me out of my home?
No. It is illegal for a landlord to lockout a tenant (renter), remove a tenant’s belongings, cut off utilities (such as water or electricity), or remove outside windows or doors in order to force a tenant to leave.
When a landlord wants to evict a tenant, the landlord must go through the court eviction process. A tenant can stay in the home until the end of the court eviction process.
If the tenant loses the eviction case, the Sheriff will come to the tenant’s home and put a “Notice to Vacate” on the home. This notice gives the tenant at least 5 days to move out. If the tenant does not move out by the date on the Notice to Vacate, the Sheriff will come back and lock the tenant out of the home.
If your landlord illegally locks you out of your home, cuts off your utilities, removes windows or doors, or takes your belongings to get you out of the home before the court eviction process is over, you can:
Call the police and ask for help getting back into the home.
File an illegal lockout court case against your landlord and ask the judge to order your landlord to let you back into your home, return your belongings or turn your utilities back on.
The court can also order your landlord to pay you for your monetary losses due to the lockout and pay you up to $100 a day for the time you were locked out of your home.
You can also call us for legal advice.
To read more about the court eviction process and your rights if your landlord illegally locks you out, click here.