You may ask, what is my first responsibility as a landlord? Your resident’s safety. Try giving your tenant the benefit of the doubt if you find that they changed your property’s locks without getting your go-ahead. Whether the locks were replaced because of roommate difficulties, domestic abuse, divorce, etc., you’ll want to quash any risk of liability. This will not only let you avoid lawsuits but also put you as a dependable landlord who can be easily reached for tenants in hot water.
If you find that your tenant has changed the locks by themselves, speak to each other before making conjectures. It may be that waiting for a locksmith could expose them to added possibilities of domestic violence. Have faith that your renters would only replace the property locks to secure themselves and their belongings from theft, vandalism, and other dangerous behaviors.
Open communication with your tenants will see to it that you’re on the right side of the law. First off, specify in your lease terms whether they can change the locks and if/when they must provide you with a new set of keys. Your say-so, in respect to these clauses, will be affected by state law. For example, California and New Jersey permit residents to change locks without providing additional keys unless it’s explicitly stated in the lease that they may not do so.
Also, you will want to draw attention to the urgency that your renters issue you with a current set of keys so that you’re able to enter the premises of your property in Eureka. Unfettered access will be needed to perform emergency repairs that could be harmful to the resident, their belongings, and your property.
What’s the gist of it all? When a tenant moves in, your function as the landlord is to issue working locks and keys. Then they call the shots. What this means is that they’re on the hook for replacement costs of keys and locks. With the purpose that they abide by the procedures outlined in your lease or that you follow up with them so they are reminded to do so, you will not be deprived of anything from their effort to defend themselves and their belongings. In the event that you’re unable to perform an emergency repair due to a lock change, negotiate with the tenant as to whether or not you’ll deduct the cost of the repair from their security deposit.
Always document the renter’s request or notification of changing the locks and answer at the earliest. Documented communication must indicate whether the tenant means to issue copies of the new keys or if they opt to restore the locks to their original condition when they vacate your property. If your tenant fails to participate or to make other arrangements after an ample grace period, don’t be afraid to notify them that you are going to deduct the replacement costs from their security deposit.
One method to discourage tenants from changing locks on their own is by changing them between every tenant. Just because a former renter was honest, yet, they should still never have the possibility of re-entry after vacancy. It’s important to always know who has access to your property to ward off being sued for a future resident’s monetary losses. In any event, when the keys are returned, you can never confirm how many copies were made, who they were turned over to, or where they currently reside.
You can place your trust in Real Property Management Humboldt to substitute the locks with brand new ones before a new resident moves in. We also deal with all tenant communication to see to it that your Eureka property is all right. Call 707-444-3835 today to consider the pros and cons of our property management services and how you can gain.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.