What is your first duty as a landlord? Your resident’s safety. If ever your tenant changes your property’s locks without soliciting your blessing, continually give them the benefit of the doubt. If ever the locks were switched with new ones on account of roommate difficulties, domestic abuse, divorce, etc., you’ll want to do away with 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.
In the event your tenant has single-handedly replaced all of the locks, communicate with them before making opinions. It may be that waiting for a locksmith could expose them to added possibilities of domestic violence. Be sure that your renters would only substitute the property locks so as to secure themselves and their belongings from theft, vandalism, and other dangerous behaviors.
In order to be on the right side of the law, guarantee open communication with your tenants. In the beginning, specify in your lease terms whether they are allowed to 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 Alhambra. 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. Then your tenants take over. This signifies they’re liable for replacement costs of keys and locks. You won’t suffer the loss of anything from your tenant’s effort to safeguard themselves and their possessions, so as long as they comply with the procedures outlined in your lease or you follow up to remind them to do so. 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.
Be sure to always document the renter’s request or notification of changing the locks and ensure that you respond as soon as possible. Documented communication should cover whether the tenant plans to present you with copies of the new keys or if they intend to restore the locks to their original condition when they vacate your property. If your tenant fails to make a plan or to cooperate after an ample grace period, be confident in your position and communicate that you will deduct the replacement costs from their security deposit.
One possible way 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. In order to avoid being sued for a future resident’s monetary losses, you should always know who has access to your property at all times. Even though the keys are returned, you may never truly know how many copies were made, who has been given keys, or where they currently reside.
You can have every confidence in Real Property Management East San Gabriel Valley to switch locks to new ones before a new resident moves in. We also manage all tenant communication to guarantee your Alhambra property is shielded. Call 626-600-2884 today to talk about all of our property management services and how you can make the most out of it.
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