Locking Out a Tenant

Locking Out a Tenant by Changing the Locks

Are you ready to start locking out a tenant from your property by changing the locks?  Watch this video created by one of our Landlord Tenant Attorneys in Buffalo, Michael F. Barrett to see why this is illegal. If you are a landlord in need of assistance with an eviction, or you’re dealing with a commercial or residential lease, contact us to schedule a consultation.  We will take the time to listen and get you started on getting the legal assistance you require.

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A common question I often hear from landlords is, “It’s my property. Can I change the locks and lock the tenant out?” The answer is a very clear, “No, you cannot.” If you do that, you could be charged with an illegal eviction and it could subject you to liability for damages – what we call treble damages – amounting to as much as three times the actual damages the tenant suffers. In order to remove a tenant from your property, you must follow the legal process of eviction, by providing the proper initial notice, going to court, and having a sheriff or marshal actually perform the removal.

  • Landlords who do that can be charged with an illegal eviction and be subject to liability for damages – what we call treble damages – amounting to as much as three times the tenant’s actual damages.
  • Removing a tenant from your leased property requires you to follow the legal process of eviction, by providing the proper initial notice, going to court, and having a sheriff or marshal perform the actual removal.

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