Distraint Law and Legal Definition

Distraint is the right of a landlord to take hold of the property of a tenant which is in the premises of the property rented. Such an action is taken when a tenant has not paid the rent or has otherwise defaulted on the lease, like causing damages or destruction of the premises. A usual way to distraint a tenant is by changing locks and giving notice to the tenant. The tenant may then initiate a legal action called replevin, against a landlord to reclaim his/her goods distrained.