As a Westborough rental property owner, you are probably aware that your residents often have serious concerns about their personal safety. When new residents move into a rental home, they may bring up questions about changing the locks. They ask this to make sure that former residents or other individuals with keys to the property will no longer be able to access the residence. Local laws in some areas do not require a landlord to change the locks between residents, and a number of property owners believe that this expense is not necessary.
If the resident makes a request, do you need to change or re-key the locks?
The straightforward answer is no, you are most likely not required to change the locks upon request. However, you have to consider the possible consequences of not doing so.
As the property owner, you are responsible for giving your Westborough residents the means to secure the home. When residents enter into the lease, you provide them with keys, garage door openers, or passcodes. This is done to give them access to the place; at the same time also giving them the means to secure the property. Residents have a tendency to make a few copies of their keys for family members or even neighbors. The problem comes when they move out of a rental home. They may not always be mindful of collecting and properly disposing of the 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. This could happen in cases of domestic abuse, divorce, or other family issues. Even a former roommate may become a concern. It is because of these potential problems that changing the locks between residents is an essential step in protecting yourself from legal liability.
Of course, the locks are only one element of a rental home’s system. Garage door openers, keypads, and other access devices are potential risks as well. Residents might have given entry codes to babysitters, repairmen, or other people who require access to the home when they are not there. Careful management of passcodes, remote controls, and so on needs to be part of your property management strategy. Also, included with that should be changing codes or replacing remote controls when necessary. These processes help ensure your residents’ safety.
At Real Property Management Metro West-Worcester, we want to make certain that the only people who have access to your rental properties are your residents. That is why we include lock changes between residents as a significant part of our property management services. Our approach is meant to protect you and your properties with the best practices in the industry. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 508-329-6000 today.
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.