What is considered your first function as a landlord? Your resident’s safety. Always give your tenant the benefit of the doubt should they change your property’s locks without requesting for your authorization beforehand. 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.
In the event your tenant has single-handedly replaced all of the locks, communicate with them before making opinions. Maybe biding one’s time for a locksmith just might put them in jeopardy to further incidents 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.
So that you’re on the right side of the law, ensure open communication with your tenants. From the outset, specify in your lease terms whether they are authorized to change the locks and if/when they must provide you with a new set of keys. Your power in connection with these clauses just might be impacted 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’ll want to highlight the gravity that your renters need to furnish you with a current set of keys so that you’re able to enter the premises of your property in Calvert County without any obstruction. Unfettered access will be needed to perform emergency repairs that could be harmful to the resident, their belongings, and your property.
What does this mean? 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 shows they are accountable for the replacement costs of keys and locks. Provided that they act in accordance with the procedures outlined in your lease or you prompt them to do so, you won’t suffer the loss of anything from their endeavor to safeguard themselves and their possessions. 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 reply in no time at all. 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 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. It doesn’t matter how honorable a former tenant was, they 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. However, even when your keys are returned, you can’t be sure how many copies were made, who they were handed over to, or where they currently reside.
You can put your faith in Real Property Management Gold to replace the locks before a new resident moves in. We also manage all tenant communication to guarantee your Calvert County property is shielded. Call 301-392-2172 today to talk about all of our property management services and how you can make the most out of it.
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