Can a repo guy (employee of rental company) be charged with trespass?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

A rental company sent an employee to my house when I was not home to get some rented tool cabinets and they also took some of my stuff which was in the cabinets calling it "collateral". I have a tenant who rents one room in the house under a written agreement that defines him as a "boarder" with specific areas allocated to him and other areas as "common". The cabinets were in the backyard which is not talked about in the agreement at all. The tenant has a key to the gate & house. The tenant thought he was doing the right thing by letting them onto the property but the rental company lied to him saying they had my permission. I asked the local sheriff and they said the repo guy was perfectly legal to lie to gain access, but was access legal if granted by a tenant/boarder?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Nadezhda M Habinek

    Contributor Level 8
    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . In California, specific satues (Business and Professions Code 7500 et seq) grant licensed reposession agencies certain rights to reposess items and collateral. Consent is required for their entry into a private dwelling, however. The issue here is whether your tenant could lawfully grant consent, mistaken or not, and whether the agency's bad faith in lying changes anything. I am not an expert in this area, however. You should consult an attorney who is familiar with this situation to see what your options are. While you may have an action for trespass and theft (i.e., a civil action), you may also wish to report the activity to the licensing board and go after the company that way (a regulatory action).

  2. Lara Ruth Shapiro

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Although it may not be a criminal matter, you may have a civil case against the rental company for taking your property in addition to repossessing their property. You should call an attorney for a consultation. I am available to speak with you and give you a free consultation. Call me at (310) 577-0870.

    When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am... more

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