Can I Legally Do That?

Can I Legally Do That?

Q:  Changing Locks Between Tenants – Are Landlords required to change locks between tenants?  I am in a situation where I know the tenants are moving across the country and returned all the keys, but I wonder if there’s a legal obligation to change the locks anyway.  Can new tenants require you to change the locks?  There is nothing in any landlord-tenant law addressing this.


Confused and Untrusting

A:  Whether there is a law or not in your state (or neighboring states), I recommend that you change the locks every time there’s a change in tenancy, no matter what.  Your former tenants may be wonderful people and think that they have returned all the keys, but what about the loser relatives of theirs who may not be so honorable.

Landlords have enough worries.  You shouldn’t be worrying whether there might be an unauthorized key circulating hoodlum somewhere, and you’ve gotta know it is relatively easy to have the locks changed.  Not only is this cheap insurance you’ve placed upon your security practices,  but care and concern for your tenants as well. Let’s face it, we all have extra locks laying around (or purchase extra sets) and it takes minimal time to rotate them as units are vacated.  New tenants will feel more secure knowing the locks and keys are reliable and in good, working order.