As a rental property owner in Windermere, you know that your residents often have serious concerns regarding their personal safety. As new residents move into a rental home, they might ask questions about changing the locks to ensure that past residents or other persons with keys to the property will no longer have access to the residence. In certain places, local laws do not require a landlord to change the locks between residents, and some property owners might feel that such an expense is unnecessary.
If the resident asks, do you need to change or re-key the locks?
The plain answer is no, you are probably not required to change the locks upon request. However, it is important to consider the potential consequences of failing to do so.
As the property owner, you are responsible for providing your Windermere residents with the means to make the home secure. When residents sign a lease, you provide them with keys, garage door openers, or passcodes to give them access to the property while also giving them the means to secure the property. Residents have a tendency to have several copies of their keys for family members or even neighbors, and when they move out of a rental home, they may not always be mindful about collecting and properly disposing of these copies.
If you don’t change or re-key the locks, and someone gains illegal access to the residence, you could be sued and considered liable for damages. Particularly in matters of domestic abuse, divorce, or family disputes, or even if a former roommate is an issue, changing the locks between residents is a crucial part in protecting yourself from legal liability.
Of course, the locks are only one part of a rental home’s system. Garage door openers, keypads, and other access devices could also be potential risks. Residents may give entry codes to babysitters, repairmen, or others who need access to the home when they aren’t present. Careful management of passcodes, remote controls, and so on needs to be part of your property management strategy, including changing codes or replacing remote controls when necessary to help ensure your residents’ safety.
At Real Property Management South Orlando, we want to ensure that your residents are the only people who can access your rental properties. That is why we lock changes between residents are a significant part of our property management services. Our approach is meant to protect you and your properties using the industry’s best practices. Contact us online or give us a call at 407-982-2000 today to find out more.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.