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Can a landlord lock out a tenant and hold tenant's personal property under PA landlord tenant laws

Conshohocken, PA |

what right does a landlord have to keep the belongings of a non-tenant who had their belongings locked up in the apartment and when final ok was given to them to get their belongings the landlord lied and stole part of the belongings. two of the major items were a 35inch tv and 19inch plasma tv. landlord admitted they were in the apartment for 1 month and decided to keep the belongings. i feel as if my childs rights to get his belongings back was violated. my child actually asked for the items within 2weeks his friends moved out. should i file in small claims court and submit a letter to property owner.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. This sounds like a case of a landlord helping him/herself to personal property in an attempt to offset some alleged damage. This is considered "self-help" and that is an action that is not permitted in Pennsylvania. At a minimum, the owner of the property should file a complaint with the local Magisterial District Judge (so long as the damages are for $8,000 or less). At the maximum, this may be a criminal matter and the police should be called.

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