we are landlords of a rental unit where a renter has not paid rent since the first month. We have given this person 30 day notice to leave, which is due in a few days. Can I legally change the locks prior to filing an Unlawful Detainer in the event they don't leave?

    0  Views: 130 Answers: 2 Posted: 12 years ago

    I would say yes! You do not deserve to be ripped off when a family that can pay can move in. They are not doing well by you when you have obviously been so generous with them. It is a cruel world and it is hard to say it to someone but you have a business to run and there are homeless shelters. They must have signed a contract and you gave them the 30 days notice they were entitled to. Change the locks or have the police order them to move because technically, they are stealing from you and your chances to succeed in the rental business.
    Good luck

    2 Answers

    They have a certain amount of days after due date to removed their belonging. After that date, you can lock it, till they pay the bill. After I think 3-6 months depending on your state you can go to court and sell their belongs for the bill. You will have to check what your state allows.

    In Hawaii, a tenant is technically in default for failing to pay rent when due.  Hence, you did the right by giving them notice.  I would make sure the notice was properly delivered, either via certified mail or even have it taped on the front door.  In my case, I put it posted it on the door and after 7 days I filed for eviction.  I would not change the lock until such time a judge has made his ruling (by the way, once you go to court, the process is quite speedy.  The rental property is technically and legally his until the judge rules otherwise.

    Finally, after the ruling, the tenant may have between 7-30 days to vacate the premises.

    Now you may change the lock.


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