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Landlord Changing Locks

Advice for Landlords on Changing Locks for New Tenants

If you’re a landlord or property manager, you have a plethora of responsibilities, including taking measures to guarantee your tenants safety and the security of your property. So, here’s the question at the heart of the matter: should you, as a landlord, change the locks for every new tenant? Let’s explore!

The Responsibilities of a Landlord

Many tenants are quick to ask their new landlord to replace all locks. To the tenant, this seems like a simple and easy request. To a landlord, however, the reality is that changing locks can be quite expensive given the frequent change in tenants. In addition, it makes it that much more difficult for the landlord to have absolute key control if the locks are constantly changing. So, what’s the answer?

Addressing the Security Concerns of Tenants

We’d be remiss to not address the tenants side of the argument here. Your new tenant wants to feel secure in their now home and certainly is entitled to feel at ease. Are they justified in asking you to replace the locks? Well, certainly.

Even though previous tenants are required to hand over their keys, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t made other copies. You wouldn’t want multiple copies of your house keys floating around, would you? There’s also the possibility that the previous tenant damaged the lock.

Know the Laws and Rules

Although landlord-tenant laws vary by state, most states require the landlord to provide a functioning deadbolt lock on exterior doors. If that lock has been damaged, then you are required to replace it for the new tenant.

If the lock hasn’t been damaged, the tenant does not have the right to change it, as they do not own the property.

Affordable Solutions for Landlords

If you’re not experienced enough to change the locks yourself or do not have a maintenance team to assist you, then replacing the locks on your property can be a significant financial investment. So, what are your options as a landlord?

  • Rekeying: a more cost-effective solution, rekeying is just as good of a solution as having a new lock installed. If you’re working with a trustworthy locksmith, they should always present you with this option.
  • Rekeying is a relatively quick process, but it depends on your locks. The locksmith will remove your lock and readjust it so that it functions with a new key. Here’s a basic overview of a pin-tumbler locks to help you better understand how locks work.

Our Final Say

As a landlord, you already have a good deal of responsibilities on your plate, such as collecting rent, property maintenance and other general upkeep duties. Don’t make changing locks more complicated than it must be. It comes down to this: if a property requires new security measures, you should always consider and ask about rekeying first. It will save you money. It will protect your tenant and put their mind at ease. Everyone is happy!

Need More Information on Lock Rekeying?

Great Valley Lockshop has been operating out of Malvern, PA for over 30 years. Our factory-trained personnel specialize in helping landlords secure their properties in reliable, affordable ways. If you’d like to learn more about rekeying your property, give us a call at 610-644-5334 or request a free estimate online.

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