As a landlord, what would be your first priority? Your resident’s safety. Try giving your tenant the benefit of the doubt if you find that they changed your property’s locks without getting your go-ahead. Whether the locks were replaced because of roommate difficulties, domestic abuse, divorce, etc., you’ll want to quash 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 you find that your tenant has changed the locks by themselves, speak to each other before making conjectures. It could be that by wasting time waiting for a locksmith, it might make them vulnerable to new occasions of domestic violence. Bank on the idea 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 certain you’re on the right side of the law. At the start, specify in your lease terms whether they are able 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.
You’ll want to place emphasis on the significance of your renters supplying you with a current set of keys so that at all times you are able to enter the premises of your property in Westlake Village. Unfettered access will be needed to perform emergency repairs that could be harmful to the resident, their belongings, and your property.
What’s the significance? When a tenant moves in, your function as the landlord is to issue working locks and keys. Then they call the shots. 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 acknowledge at the first opportunity. Documented communication ought to include whether the tenant has every intention to furnish you with copies of the new keys or if they choose to restore the locks to their original condition when they vacate your property. If your tenant fails to coordinate with you or to form alternative suggestions after an ample grace period, you are permitted to tell them that you mean to deduct the replacement costs from their security deposit.
One method to discourage tenants from changing locks on their own is by changing them between every tenant. Former tenants ought to never have the possibility of re-entry after vacancy even if you find them trustworthy. 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. 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 depend on Real Property Management Ventura County to replace the locks before a new resident moves in. We also deal with all tenant communication to see to it that your Westlake Village property is all right. Call 805-387-3682 today to learn about all our property management services and how you can reap the financial reward.
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