Do you know what is your first task as a landlord? Your resident’s safety. If it happens that your tenant changes your property’s locks without asking for your approval, give them the benefit of the doubt. If you find that the locks were replaced owing to roommate difficulties, domestic abuse, divorce, etc., you’ll want to get rid of any risk of liability. This will not only facilitate the means for you to avoid lawsuits but also put you in a position as a dependable landlord who is present for tenants in dire straits.
If your tenant replaces the locks without your permission, have a chat before making presumptions. It is possible that patiently waiting for a locksmith can endanger them to increased opportunities for 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 make sure 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 influence as regards to these clauses could be shaped 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 Brookland. 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? Your duty as the landlord is to outfit the property with working locks and keys when a tenant moves in. That’s when they take over. 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 make a response as quick as you can. Documented communication has to include whether the tenant has plans to give you copies of the new keys or if they decide to restore the locks to their original condition when they vacate your property. If your tenant fails to comply with or to produce a proposition after an ample grace period, you can let them know that you plan to deduct the replacement costs from their security deposit.
One course of action to discourage tenants from changing locks on their own is by changing them between every tenant. Even if you find a former resident worthy of your trust, they still should never have the possibility of re-entry after vacancy. So that you may forestall being sued for a future resident’s monetary losses, you ought to constantly be aware of who has access to your property. 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 rely on Real Property Management DC Metro to swap out the locks before a new resident moves in. We also deal with all tenant communication to see to it that your Brookland property is all right. Call 202-269-0303 today to explore all of our property management services and how you can profit.
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