What is considered your first function as a landlord? Your resident’s safety. Give your tenant the benefit of the doubt if they change your property’s locks without trying to obtain your consent first. Should it happen that the locks were switched with new ones as a consequence of roommate difficulties, domestic abuse, divorce, etc., you’ll want to remove any risk of liability. This will not only help you avoid lawsuits but also place you as a dependable landlord who is not busy for tenants in crisis.
If your tenant replaces the locks without your permission, have a chat before making presumptions. Maybe biding one’s time for a locksmith just might put them in jeopardy to further incidents 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.
So that you’re on the right side of the law, ensure open communication with your tenants. To begin with, specify in your lease terms whether they are empowered to 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.
You should also emphasize the gravity that your renters ought to give you a current set of keys so that, without exception, you’re able to enter the premises of your property in Smyrna. Unfettered access will be needed to perform emergency repairs that could be harmful to the resident, their belongings, and your property.
What is the bottom line? Your role as the landlord is to equip working locks and keys as a tenant moves in. After that, they run the show. This indicates that they are liable 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. There should be documented communication that includes whether the tenant aims to supply copies of the new keys or if they will 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 strategy you can employ 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. Although your keys are returned to your safekeeping, you can never be sure how many copies were made, who possesses these copies, or where they currently reside.
You can put your faith in Real Property Management East Cobb to replace the locks before a new resident moves in. We also take care of all tenant communication to make certain your Smyrna property is out of harm’s way. Call 770-622-5657 today to consider all our property management services and how you can reap the benefits.
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.