Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida

Q: I was living with a friend with no lease sh Er kicked me out and destroyed my property. Can I have her arrested?

We had a disagreement I left she immediately started destroying my property and throwing it out in the yard. I tried to retrieve my things she had me trespassed and continues to destroy my property. Law says I can't do anything as far as criminal charges on her.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm sorry to hear about your difficult situation. However, based on the information you've provided, there may be some legal recourse available to you, even if criminal charges are not an option.

1. Civil lawsuit: You may be able to file a civil lawsuit against your former friend for the destruction of your property. This could allow you to seek compensation for the value of the damaged items. Consult with a local attorney to discuss your options and the viability of a civil case.

2. Illegal eviction: Depending on your state's laws, your friend may have illegally evicted you. In most states, even without a lease, you are considered a tenant and are entitled to proper notice before being required to vacate the premises. If your friend failed to follow the proper eviction procedures, you might have a case against them.

3. Retrieving your belongings: If you have any documentation proving that the destroyed items were your property, you may be able to involve the police in retrieving your undamaged belongings from the residence. However, this can be challenging without a formal lease agreement.

4. Restraining order: If your former friend's behavior is threatening or you fear for your safety, you may be able to file for a restraining order to prevent further harassment.

It's essential to document any evidence of the destroyed property and your communications with your former friend. Gather any photos, videos, or witness statements that support your claims.

I recommend consulting with a local attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant disputes and property matters. They can provide you with a more accurate assessment of your rights and options based on the specific laws in your area.

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