Even when you think that your current locks are quite secure, there may come a time when you might need to consider a lock change. Keep reading to learn more.
Whether you own a home or you are a tenant, there are various things you must put into consideration before changing your locks. Basically, when a lock isn’t functioning in the right way, it can expose your home to burglary and no one wants an insecure home. Whether you are a tenant or homeowner, you need to understand what you are expected to do before proceeding.
Moving into a new house: is a lock change necessary?
Both tenants and homeowners need to consider a lock change when moving into a new house. While most people are quick to change the locks, some people are oblivious to this precaution. Basically, you can’t be certain that the person who was living in the house before you was diligent enough to hand over all the keys. Instead of always wondering if the previous occupant has a spare key to your house, just change the lock system
If you are a landlord and your tenant seems to have abandoned the apartment before the contract is expired, you need to act. For instance, if they had paid up to the end of the month and they disappear before the time elapses, you need to contact them and make it clear that you are going to make the changes. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t make the lock change until the lease agreement is expired. If you change the lock system, make sure you’ve informed the tenant and tell them they are free to collect another key and use the apartment for the remaining period.
Since your tenant has paid the required amount for the agreed period, you can’t deny them access to the premises. In the event where you change the lock without notification, make sure they know as soon as possible.
Dealing with a defiant tenant
If you have a tenant who hasn’t upheld the agreement as stipulated in the lease agreement, you have to follow the right protocol. While you may be tempted to take matters into your own hands and lock out your tenant, you should consider the legality of your actions.
In most states, self-help eviction isn’t allowed and you are therefore not supposed to change the lock unless you have followed the accepted procedure. If you do this and the tenant seeks legal redress, you can be forced to pay hefty fees to the tenant. Considering the outstanding rent owed to you, there is no need to risk paying a lot of money to the tenant if you take matters into your hands.
The best course of action is following the eviction process. Nevertheless, you may need to pay the tenant so that they vacate immediately but they reserve the right to accept or refuse your offer. But this will not always work out smoothly and you will be forced to stick to the right process.
You should realize that having a lock policy on your lease agreement can stop a tenant from making lock change without proper notification. At the same time, they are required to hand over a spare key every time they change the lock system. But if you don’t have this provision on the lease, the tenant is free to change the lock. Basically, it’s important that you have a key to the apartment just in case there is an emergency and you need to access the premises.
Final words on lock change
While it’s not a requirement to make changes when each tenant leaves the apartment, it is much safer to consider this option. While most of your tenants will be good people who abide by the laws, you can’t be sure that all the keys to the doors were handed over to you. But if you don’t feel like changing the locks on your own, you can allow your tenants the liberty to make the changes. Basically, this can boost the sense of security to your tenants.
If there is an incident where a previous occupant gains access to the apartment and steal from the occupying tenant, you risk being sued by the tenant.