Can I be charged with Home invasion and burglary if I enter and remove items that I thought were left behind?

I own the home. The people staying in it told us they were moving out by Monday. Tuesday wer took what was left and now they are claiming to press charges. Someone told me I still need to get an eviction notice and a lawyer

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It all depends on if you can show that the property was abandoned. Did they turn over the keys to you? It is always better to get something in writing from the tenant. Even if you have to write a note yourself like " I (tenants name) hereby give notice to (your name) that i will vacate (the address) on (date). "and have them sign it. It's not foolproof but it's better than nothing. As far as the belongings, check with your state but most require the landlord to store anything left behind for a minimum time period before disposing or taking possession of it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Just because you own the property doesn't mean you can go in as soon as they are out (even a day later) to collect anything that was left behind. There is usually a time period of 30 days that they have to get anything that was left behind. You need to either give the stuff back or try to fight it in court. If they were moving out on their own will, then you don't need an eviction order, however, you need to give them notice that they did leave some things and that they have 30 days to come and get it. The next step before being able to get rid of the belongings is to go through the courts to see what else needs to be done legally. It's not home invasion or burglarly if they were already gone and handed over the keys to you that they had in their possession. If you had to break a lock then there's a fine line there, but burglary is the "unlawful entering of a structure in order to commit a felony." They at least have you on a theft charge as it stands now. Do talk to an attorney in your area and talk with these people to see if you can resolve it without going to court. Would save you both time and money in the long run.

    Source(s): Pre-Law/Criminal Justice Major
  • 1 decade ago

    Every state has an eviction procedure. If you simply did self help, you could be in trouble. Why didn't you go through an eviction proceeding? Wanted to save time and/or money hiring a lawyer? Well, now you might realize that in the end, you should have done so, because the tenents have an absolute right to the property they brought into your rental, and if they were unable to retrieve all of it on Monday, why couldn't you simply ask them how much longer they needed to get their stuff out? Or, you could tell them that on Tuesday you went back and found some of their property and ask them what they would like you to do with it, keep it for them (at a price), throw it away (at a price) etc. What did you do with their property? If you destroyed it, you are liable for the replacement cost of any property.

    Source(s): Lawyer
  • 1 decade ago

    Typically property is deemed abandoned after 30 days. You only waited one day. Why don't you just give it back and avoid a whole big mess?

    If they gave you notice they were moving out and did, why do you still think you need to evict them?

    Looks to me like you are trying to make trouble.

    Source(s): No animals or plants were harmed in the answering of this question. Any similarity with any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental and unintended. This answer contains a substance known by the state of California to cause excessive moronic stupidity. Use with adequate ventilation.
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  • Roger
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    laws vary depending on where u r. here in mi we are required by law to hold tenent belongings of value for 6 months b4 we can dispose of them. you can't be charged with home invasion, but u can be liable to pay the tenent triple the value of anything that u may have gotten rid of.

    i put a clause in my lease in big bold letters that says 'personal belongings left behind will be presumed abandoned and i authorize the landlord/agent to remove and dispose of any belongings i leave behind after i vacate the premises' it goes on to explain what is meant by 'vacate' and has a spot for the tenents to sign specifically acknowledging that statement. it gives me the legal right to remove their stuff when they tell me they are done moving out.

  • 1 decade ago

    Give them their stuff back, but have them sign a receipt listing everything.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    tell it to the judge. that sounds like typical landlord rhetoric.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    give it back save yourself the trouble

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