landlord cleared my house out. What do I do? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-11-2006, 12:17 PM
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I left the house for a week to help my roommate's family through something and I was there for a whole day on rent day and the landlord never showed up. I was 4 days behind on rent because he didn't show up to get it and when I went back to my house everything was gone. I can't hire a lawyer against him so I need advice.
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#2 Old 03-11-2006, 12:20 PM
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Rental laws are different EVERYWHERE. Here's a site that has the information for North Carolina, which is where you live according to your VB profile.



http://www.charlottencproperty.com/R...ant%20Laws.pdf

http://www.hud.gov/local/nc/renting/tenantrights.cfm
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#3 Old 03-11-2006, 12:45 PM
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yeah I live in Asheboro NC. The police said to call the sheriff's dept.
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#4 Old 03-11-2006, 04:24 PM
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The law in MA gives you 5 days past the end of the month. I can't say for other states. I would wager however that what he did was illegal and you should be able to take him to small claims court to recover your belongs, or recover the value of them.



In massachusetts, what you should do is:



1. call the police

2. file an injunction against the landlord which would allow you to move back in

and 3. sue him.
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#5 Old 03-11-2006, 04:50 PM
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In Texas they have to give you 30 days. Call the police, and try to find a lawyer who works on a contingency. I know that I spelled that wrong, but they will only charge you if you don't win the case. If you win, they will take their fee out of your winnings. If you lose the case, they will work out a payment plan. I'm so sorry. Your landlord sounds like an ass!
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#6 Old 03-11-2006, 05:20 PM
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Sounds like theft to me. Call the police.

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#7 Old 03-11-2006, 07:33 PM
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I am reviewing the Statute, but it appears as though your Landlord is in the wrong.



I would not, however, throw out accusations of theft quite yet.



http://www.badlandlords.info/ncstatute.html
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#8 Old 03-11-2006, 07:53 PM
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* A residential landlord in North Carolina may not legally evict a tenant from the rented premises unless he/she first obtains an order or "writ of possession" from a court. A residential landlord may not use "self-help" such as locking tenants out or turning off utilities in lieu of a Summary Ejectment proceeding. If a landlord threatens you with eviction or if you receive court papers, you should seek legal assistance.

* Grounds for Eviction:

o Non-payment of Rent

o Breach of the Lease (i.e. illegal pets, noise, excessive damage or alteration to the premises, illegal activity etc.)

o Holding over after the lease term has ended

o Desertion of the premises



http://www.ncsu.edu/stud_affairs/leg...antHandout.htm



I have not been able to determine if there is a time period for non-payment of rent to be grounds for a writ of posession, but I don't have access to all of the NC Statutes either. From the first section of the Statute it appears that up to five days late a renter could be subject to late fees, $15 or not exceeding 5% of rent, so I would say that a Judge would not grant a writ until the sixth day at the least.



In the meantime document everything you do, keep track of any costs (transportation or housing costs, missed work, bank fees, etc...) which could have been caused by this inconvenience.



Assemble a list of all the posessions that were appropriated and their condition and value.



Contact your municipal or State government, http://www.ncdoj.com/consumerprotect..._contactus.jsp, I think is the proper department.



much more information at



http://www.badlandlords.info/n_carolina.html.
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#9 Old 03-11-2006, 08:18 PM
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If the landlord didn't show up to pick up the rent why didn't you call him?



I'm not saying you're at fault, but seems like this situation could have been avoided with a phone call.
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#10 Old 03-11-2006, 08:59 PM
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To the OP:



I agree with bigdufstuff, you are responsible for paying your rent on time, but that is neither here nor there at this point.



Also, why can you not hire a lawyer?
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#11 Old 03-12-2006, 10:19 AM
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This is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind when I was posting in another thread about not really wanting to live in the USA.



I'm dont want to start a US-bashing trend, but it has to be said that this kind of stuff should not be allowed to happen to people.



A lot of countries have laws in place to protect tenants from that kind of treatment. In Australia for example, if a landlord tried that one on, the cops would be on his back for sure.
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#12 Old 03-12-2006, 12:03 PM
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I did call the landlord and he never showed up so I went back to help my friend's family and came back to check on the house and everything 2 days later. I also came to check on it the day before he came and cleared it out and everything was fine we had no calls from the landlord because the only number he had was my cell number and when I called him about the stuff being gone he said that the door was wide open a week before and stuff was missing. I knew it was a lie because I had been there the day before. I didn't think I could hire a lawyer because I didn't have the money to hire one and some of it is my roommates things. Like his W-2's. I know I can have him charged with tampering with government documents for that one.
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#13 Old 03-12-2006, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post

This is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind when I was posting in another thread about not really wanting to live in the USA.



I'm dont want to start a US-bashing trend, but it has to be said that this kind of stuff should not be allowed to happen to people.



A lot of countries have laws in place to protect tenants from that kind of treatment. In Australia for example, if a landlord tried that one on, the cops would be on his back for sure.



While there are a whole host of reasons to have concern about living in the US, this is not one of them. What this landlord did was not within his legal right. Eviction is a long process, at least in NC and I would imagine the rest of the US, that involves filling out the proper papers as well as notices to the tenant about court dates to refute the claims and a final eviction date (which is long after the papers have been filed--30 days?). This situation is not legally allowed. I had a neighbor who was evicted from my old duplex. It was something like 60 days that she had not paid rent, with lots of notice (many of which ended up on my door, apparently someone isn't bright enough to understand the difference between an A and a B) until she was locked out of her place.
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#14 Old 03-12-2006, 12:45 PM
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I had something similar happen: a landlord locked up my belongings, put my cats on the veranda in their crates, & padlocked the aprtment after I had the movers drop everything off (I was at work meanwhile).



I went to legal aid right away. They drafter a letter & a cop came with me & we presented it to the landlord. I was allowed back in immediately & the landlord got a stiff warning.



This was in Canada, but if there's legal aid where you live, could you contact them?
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#15 Old 03-12-2006, 02:23 PM
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I don't know what to do about the whole ordeal. I can go to the sheriff's dept tomorrow and talk to the civil ordinance people but other than that I don't know.
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#16 Old 03-12-2006, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by veg*nfrog View Post

While there are a whole host of reasons to have concern about living in the US, this is not one of them. What this landlord did was not within his legal right.



I think it is a concern if you go to the cops like LittleMistweave did, and they just pass the buck and tell you to go to the Sherrifs department
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#17 Old 03-13-2006, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by astro View Post

I think it is a concern if you go to the cops like LittleMistweave did, and they just pass the buck and tell you to go to the Sherrifs department



But that's just an issue of going through the proper channels. Sheriff's departments in the US, correct me if I'm wrong, cover an entire county while police departments work for the citizens of a city or town. How this applies in this case? I have no idea. Perhaps the sheriff's dept. just covers this stuff in her area rather than local police. Maybe she technically lives outside the city limits. Of couse they could better serve their population by sharing info in simple grievances such as this one, but apparently they don't.



No one would expect a homocide detective to issue traffic tickets. Though not as clear cut, it's the same issue of function. IMHO.
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#18 Old 03-13-2006, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by LittleMistweave View Post

I don't know what to do about the whole ordeal. I can go to the sheriff's dept tomorrow and talk to the civil ordinance people but other than that I don't know.



Please refer to the posts I made previously, I got you the info you need to proceed, right from your own State's website.
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#19 Old 03-13-2006, 01:50 AM
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Before a lardlord can evict you they have had to send notices documented by a lawyer at least a couple times and even by the last notice you still have 30 days to leave. It's a very long process. My friend owns a duplex and she had horrible tennants that she had to evict and it took a while. Check and see if your state has a housing authority. In RI we have a whole branch of government that deals w/housing issues so I'd assume NC would too.
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#20 Old 03-13-2006, 09:33 AM
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If you can't afford a lawyer, look into calling your legal aid office. They're very used to dealing with landlord cases and should be available in Asheville. Go to legalaidnc.org for more information.
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#21 Old 03-13-2006, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by astro View Post

I think it is a concern if you go to the cops like LittleMistweave did, and they just pass the buck and tell you to go to the Sherrifs department



In the US, different law enforcement agencies have different jurisdictions. Also "cops" is a derogatory term here.
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#22 Old 03-13-2006, 06:50 PM
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Hrm... doesn't sound legal to me. My parents used to be landlords and they say in their juristidcation it is entirely illegal, must give 30 days notice, blah blah, court documents.



If I couldn't get ahold of my landlord and didn't think I'd be able to, I'd mail him/her a check before it was due. I woulld leave the check on the table in case him/her came in.
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#23 Old 03-13-2006, 07:49 PM
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Cops is a derogatory term sometimes, depending on where you live, but not everywhere.



<--- Dad is a cop.
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#24 Old 03-13-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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Yeah. "Cop" = a badge of honor in some place (Chicago, for example).



LMW...I'd second the suggestion of talking to Legal Aid. It's free. Also, check around online. Many areas have "rental rights" offices.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#25 Old 03-13-2006, 08:41 PM
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In the US, different law enforcement agencies have different jurisdictions. [/QUOTE]



I'm aware of that. But I was also under the impression that in some states it differs, and you would go to the police first rather than the Sherrifs office as LittleMistweave did. So from her post I gathered that was the apropriate line of complaint for her area.



Quote:
Also "cops" is a derogatory term here.



In Australia it's not a derogatory term. It's standard acceptable slang that even the police themselves use.



And as far as things go in your country, I guess you must have missed the very famous TV show from the US called COPS
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#26 Old 03-13-2006, 09:15 PM
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I agree that now you just have to do the legwork and read the info, make the phone calls and take action. If for no other reason, the landlord needs to get in trouble for not adhering to the law.



But I must say, I really wish my landlord would come to my house and pick up my check! I've always had to make sure I got it to him/her myself since it's my residence on the line. If I forget to mail it in time, I have to drive a good ways to drop it off, and I have to leave a message making sure they know it's coming.
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#27 Old 03-14-2006, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post

Quote:
In the US, different law enforcement agencies have different jurisdictions.



I'm aware of that. But I was also under the impression that in some states it differs, and you would go to the police first rather than the Sherrifs office as LittleMistweave did. So from her post I gathered that was the apropriate line of complaint for her area.



It's not a matter of who you go to first. You go to the Sheriff's Department first for matters within its jurisdiction and you go to the Police Department for matters within its jurisdiction. If you happen to not know which to call, you can just call one and if you are wrong they will redirect you to the right one.



Where is the cause for complaint?



BTW many derogatory terms are considered non derogatory or a badge of honor under certain conditions. That doesn't make them appropriate for general use. Didn't George Herbert Walker Bush catch a lot of crap from Australians for using a hand gesture that is perfectly appropriate in the US?
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#28 Old 03-14-2006, 09:36 PM
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BTW many derogatory terms are considered non derogatory or a badge of honor under certain conditions. That doesn't make them appropriate for general use.



I agree with you on that point, but in this particular instance in regards to 'cops' I think you're wrong.
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#29 Old 03-14-2006, 09:46 PM
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Cops is derogatory? This is the first I've heard of that.



I prefer the term "pigs" anyway.
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#30 Old 03-14-2006, 11:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by remilard View Post


BTW many derogatory terms are considered non derogatory or a badge of honor under certain conditions. That doesn't make them appropriate for general use. Didn't George Herbert Walker Bush catch a lot of crap from Australians for using a hand gesture that is perfectly appropriate in the US?



Yeah. I wasn't meaning to argue, but rather express surprise.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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