As a rental property owner in Safety Harbor, you know that your tenants are concerned about their personal safety. New tenants might raise concerns about changing the locks as they move into a rental home so that old tenants or other people with keys to the property won’t be able to access the residence anymore. In certain locations, local laws don’t require a landlord to change the locks between tenants, and some property owners may deem such a cost unnecessary.
If the tenant asks, do you need to change or re-key the locks?
The simple answer is no, you are probably not required to change the locks should someone request it. However, you should consider the potential consequences of failing to do so.
As the property owner, you are responsible for providing your Safety Harbor tenants with the means to make the home secure. When tenants sign a lease, you give them keys, garage door openers, or passcodes so that they can access the property while also giving them the means to secure the property. Tenants have a tendency to create several copies of their keys for family members or even neighbors, and when they move out of a rental home, they are not always mindful about collecting and properly disposing of these copies.
If you don’t change or re-key the locks, and somebody gets illicit access to the residence, you could be hit with a lawsuit and be considered liable for damages. In cases of domestic abuse, divorce, or family disputes, or even if a past roommate is a concern, changing the locks between tenants is a necessary step in preventing legal liability.
Of course, the locks are just one element of a rental home’s system. Garage door openers, keypads, and other access devices are potential risks as well. Tenants may share entry codes with repairmen, babysitters, or others who require access to the home when they are not there. Careful management of passcodes, remote controls, and so on must be part of your property management strategy, including changing codes or replacing remote controls when needed to help guarantee the safety of your tenants.
At Real Property Management TradeWinds, we want to ensure that the only people who have access to your rental properties are your tenants. That is why we include lock changes between tenants as a significant component of our property management services. Our approach is meant to protect you and your properties with the best practices in the industry. To find out more, contact us online or call us at 727-400-4722 today.