As a rental property owner in Adams Morgan, you are probably aware that your residents often are seriously concerned about their personal safety. New residents may raise concerns regarding the changing the locks as they move into a rental home so that old residents or other individuals with keys to the property won’t be able to enter the residence anymore. In certain places, local laws don’t require a landlord to change the locks between residents, and some property owners may think that such a cost is not needed.
If the resident asks, do you need to change or re-key the locks?
The plain answer is no, you are probably not required to change the locks if asked. Nonetheless, it is important to think about the potential effects should you not do so.
As the property owner, you are to provide your Adams Morgan residents with the means to secure the home. Once residents sign the lease, you supply them with keys, garage door openers, or passcodes to give them access to the property but to give them the means to secure the property as well. Residents have a habit of making several copies of their keys for family members or even neighbors, and they aren’t always careful to collect and correctly destroy these copies once they move out of a rental home.
If you don’t change or re-key the locks, and somebody gains illegal access to the residence, you could be hit with a lawsuit and be considered liable for damages. Especially in cases of domestic abuse, divorce, or familial disputes, or even if a past roommate is a concern, changing the locks between residents is a necessary step in avoiding legal liability.
Of course, the locks are just one piece of a rental home’s system. Garage door openers, keypads, and other access devices are potential risks as well. Residents might give their entry codes to babysitters, repairmen, or others who need access to the home when they are not there. Careful management of passcodes, remote controls, and so on should be part of your property management strategy, including changing codes or replacing remote controls as needed to help guarantee the safety of your residents.
At Real Property Management DC Metro, we want to ensure that the only people who have access to your rental properties are your residents. That is why we include lock changes between residents as an important element of our property management services. Our approach is designed to protect you and your properties with the best practices in the industry. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 202-269-0303 today.
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.