Don't lock out a tenant! It's illegal

In California, it is illegal for a landlord or property owner simply to change the locks on a tenant, even if the tenant has not paid rent. Instead, the landlord must go through the eviction process with the court and obtain a judgement against the tenant. Even if the landlord believes that you have abandoned the tenancy, the landlord must still follow the proper procedure of serving a notice of belief of abandonment.

It is also important to understand that the property manager may not remove the tenants belonging from the property. Pursuant to California Civil Code section 1987, if your landlord has retained your personal property-even if you have been evicted pursuant to a valid court judgement-the landlord must release your personal property upon your request. However, the tenant will be responsible for any storage fees incurred. Even in cases of abandonment, a landlord cannot lawfully auction or discard a tenant's property without notice.

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