If you fail to pay rent, a landlord can change your locks following a written warning mailed five days prior or three days prior if hand delivered or posted on the inside of your front door. The warning must tell you where to go to pay your rent, where you can pay late rent and a number answered 24 hours a day that you can call to get a new key within two hours.
The landlord must provide a new key at any hour, even if you do not pay any of the late rent. Failure to pay rent, however, may be grounds for eviction.
If stated in bold or underlined print with specific steps in your lease agreement, a landlord may enter a residence and seize property to sell to pay the amount of rent owed. A landlord cannot take:
- Tools and books of a trade or profession
- School books
- Family libraries
- Family portraits or pictures
- One couch, two living room chairs
- Beds, blankets, sheets or pillows
- Kitchen furniture and utensils
- Medicine and medical supplies
- One car and one truck
- Agricultural tools
- Children's toys not commonly used by adults
- Items the landlord or representative knows to be owned by someone other than the tenant
- Items the landlord or representative knows to be security for a loan