lockout with ZERO notice - what can I do?! please help

Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 01:20 am


My housemate is also my landlord – he owns the home. I rent a room in the basement. There was another tenant, but they died a month ago. Since then, I’ve been working on moving out. I am set to move into my new place this coming weekend.

My landlord, the living housemate, has been going off the deep end lately and doing a lot of weird things. Now he’s illegally locked me out of the home. On Saturday, my landlord/housemate sent a weird threatening email. It didn’t make a lot of sense and it alarmed me. The lease allows for me to have a cat. My landlord suddenly threatened to lock my cat in his private bedroom to teach me a lesson. I spoke with animal control and they reviewed the email. They wanted to press charges, I asked if they could wait as I am moving out in a week and feared this would lead my landlord/housemate to get even more weird. I worked on finding another place for my cat. (I’m moving this coming weekend into a new place). I also got a lock for my bedroom door so that the landlord could not get in while I was gone to get to the cat.

On Sunday morning, I was in the bathroom taking a shower, with a candle burning, as I have done in the past. The lease does not prohibit this. My landlord/housemate began banging on the bathroom door. This freaked me out. He yelled, but I don’t know what he yelled. Next thing I know, fireman is opening the door. It turns out my housemate/landlord called 911, claiming I was trying to burn the house down. The fire dept confirmed there was no fire. The police came and confirmed no sign of anything burning, except the very small candle. The smoke alarm in the hallway about 4 inches from the bathroom door didn’t go off. No one knows why my landlord/housemate flipped out like this. The fire department confirmed ZERO sign of anything but a candle burning and the police helped me arrange a friend to pick me up. (I was shaking and crying). I left the house with my cat. We went to go stay at a friend’s house. Later that day, we returned to get some of my stuff. That is when I discovered my landlord/housemate changed the locks. The front door has a keyless entry – instead of a keyed lock, there is a keypad to type in a code and Sunday afternoon, while I was gone, he changed the code.

It’s been two days now, and he refuses to give me the new code. He demanded I communicate to him through our cities landlord/tenant mediation office, and to not have any friend or family call him, and to not send him any emails. (I’m more than fine to not have any direct communication with him….)
The mediation office spoke to him, and they are very frustrated with him. They do not feel he is interested in mediation and do not feel it is appropriate for their office to be just passing on communication from me, as HE asked them to do.

I spoke to the police department and they sent me to the sheriff civil department who redirected me back to the police department. My crazy landlord contacted my mother today (who is on my info as an emergency contact) over 23 times, claiming he is denying all access to keep me from burning the house down. My mother never responded to any of his texts or voicemail messages. She was very frightened by him.

The fire department felt his call on Sunday was so bogus it was an “abuse of the system.” At one point today, he told my mother that I had two hours to get my stuff out. I got the message at 5pm that he would allow me to have access “from 6pm to 8pm and all items must be removed.” I was an hour away, at school…. He now is back to denying all access at all times. I can get needed medical property – like a pair of foot braces I need in order to walk, let alone the rest of my property.

I don’t know what to do. I’m very freaked out. I did not try to burn anything down, and the police and fire dept told him that.

In my state, Colorado, it is illegal under “all circumstances” for landlord to lock out a tenant without a court order. He has never posted any eviction notices, no 3 day notices, nothing. He just locked me out and refuses to allow re-entry at all.

I called the police and they said it is civil, and the civil dept said this is criminal.

What can I do?

I can go ahead and press charges for the threat of animal abuse of my cat. That won’t help me get access to get my stuff out, and my cat is safe now, no longer in the rental property as of Sunday morning.

I’m considering filing civil claim for wrongful eviction tomorrow, but small claims cases are usually set out 2-3 months in the court right now, and I don't how to get access to my stuff now.

Can I file a request for a court order to allow entry? Is there something I can legally do in civil court? Is there something that can be done criminally?
Do I go back to the police and try to see if they can do anything?

The landlord has posted no notices. He has not filed any eviction papers at all. He has filed nothing in court as well. He just has me locked out and is refusing the very mediation he demanded, and I need my stuff!

I will be suing this landlord for all he has done and all that it has cost me.

But right now, that’s not my main concern. My main concern is getting access to my stuff to pack it up and move out – and just to get the medical property I need to function and walk…

Any suggestions or ideas are very welcome.
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Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 02:04 am
If you've paid rent, you are clearly a tenant, and have to be served with an eviction notice. What actually happens when you are locked out is something I don't know.
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 02:13 am
Have you told the police that there is medical equipment in there that you must have in order to function? If not, do so and see if that gets a more helpful response from them.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 02:37 am
Most states have laws concerning evictions which specifies the numbers of days you have before leaving the premise after you've been served with the notice.

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Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 03:09 am
the police helped me arrange a friend to pick me up.

Did the police officer who helped you make those arrangements give you his/her name and/or contact info? If so, try communicating with them directly and ask for their help in retrieving your belongings, either by their intervention or referral to a specific person in another department.

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Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 03:14 am
If none of the above is successful, here's a list of tenant resources in Colorado:

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