Can landlord lock tenant out of basement storage where property and circuit breakers are? after tenant called code enforcement?

Asked over 1 year ago - Providence, RI

After i complained to the landlord about apartment issues and told him i called code enforcement and the building inspector because of his neglect , he locked my basement storage ( where i keep my stuff ) and where my electrical circuit breakers are . what are the penalties in rode island ? 3 times rent plus lawyer fees ? illegal lockout ? i believe he is trying to hide the code violations ( electrical and heating ) and the fact that the one ( old boiler ) and 3 fuse boxes run 6 apartments in this building that is listed as a 3 family home with the city ! Illegal multiple dwelling . what are my rights and compensation for this ?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. John T. Longo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

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    Answered . It is against the law for a RI landlord to retaliate against a tenant who calls code enforcement. I do not know if that is what he is doing.

    I am not your attorney and I am not giving legal advice. I am giving you general information about the law. To... more
  2. Edward James Maher

    Contributor Level 3

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    chosen by asker

    Answered . Unless your lease states otherwise, you have the right to possess and hold all of the leased premises including the basement. So, though I am not licensed in RI, I suspect that the landlords actions are illegal. You may want to consult an attorney. In Maryland there are procedures to place rent into a court escrow account until the Inspector reports that code violations are remedied.

    All responses I provide on this site are for informational purposes only and are not offered as legal advise. You... more

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