entering my property and changing locks

By Jane

I rent a 2 bedroom duplex. In first week of January it became vacant. I placed an ad on craigslist “ROOM FOR RENT – – $500 PLUS DEPOSIT”. (see attached craigslist posting).

I ended up renting the front vacant room to a guy named JOHN DOE on 1/15. He paid me $500 cash for first months rent, and $300 cash for security deposit. (see attached receipt)

At that time we discussed rental agreement, terms and conditions. After discussing, we both signed it. I then gave him a key that unlocked both the front door, as well as the back door.

I am rarely home, and when I am it is just to shower, rest or check mail. My son and my boyfriend do not get along, which is why I rent a place and do not live with him. My son and I had a disagreement at the beginning of January and he went to go live with his dad. This left me with a vacant room and an opportunity to generate money toward my rent, which was coming up.

So I rented out the room, and over the following three weeks I saw my roommate very few times.
One day he asked me if I would mind if he put a lock on his bedroom door. I agreed that would be fine so long as he purchased and installed it. Without my knowledge, he ended up changing the front and back door locks as well.

My boyfriend and I came home late one night. No one was home and my key did not work on front or back door. We were unable to get in.

There was also a 3 day notice posted to my door, demanding I pay $1900 or quit. (My rent is only $1200.) Since it was after 11pm, I decided to go to my boyfriends and discuss rent increase with landlord in the morning. I assumed she had changed the locks because of the 3 day notice.

The following day called my landlord several times to discuss issues from previous nite. I did not get a call back from her until following day. On 2/9 she posted a “pre-departure inspection” 24 hour entry notice. I never said I was moving??

I left her a message saying I had no plans on moving, had not given her notice, therefore her reason for entry into my home was unlawful and without merit. She did not reply.

The following morning, when I was not home, she and 3 others who live with her, forced entry into my house. They removed my locks, entered my home, removed lock on roommates bedroom door, went through my entire house and then replaced my locks with ones of their own.

I was out of town until 2/12 around 11pm. I arrived homethat night, unaware of what had taken place throughout the day.

I still did not have a key. I had to go through the back window. As soon as I got through the window, I began to cry as I saw the way my entire home had been ran sacked. It was completely destroyed. My grandmothers antiques were smashed on the floor books were scattered throughout, cupboards were open with contents spilling out, an awful mess. I was about to call police when I saw, on the coffee table, a search warrant (generic) and property report as to items seized.

I immediately left and attempted to contact my attorney. I am unable to reach him and would like advice as to what I should do.

The items seized were from roommates bedroom. They all pertained to identity theft and drugs. Please advise.

Edited on: Monday, February 17th, 2014 7:31 pm

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