Skip to Content

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Can Your Tenants Change the Locks of Your El Cajon Rental Property?

Tenant Changing Locks on Their El Cajon Rental PropertyYour prime charge as a landlord? Your resident’s safety. If your tenant replaces your property’s locks without getting your permission, always impart to them the benefit of the doubt. Just in case the locks were replaced because of roommate difficulties, domestic abuse, divorce, etc., you’ll aspire to eradicate any risk of liability. This will not just make it possible for you to avoid lawsuits but, along with that, will position you as a dependable landlord who is there for your tenants in hard times.

If your tenant replaces the locks on their own, speak to them before putting up presumptions. Probably waiting for a locksmith could keep them unprotected to more occasions of domestic violence. Believe that your renters would only completely change the property locks to secure themselves and their belongings from theft, vandalism, and other dangerous behaviors.

Open communication with your tenants will make sure you’re on the right side of the law. To begin with, specify in your lease terms whether they are authorized to change the locks and if/when they must provide you with a new set of keys. Your rule over these clauses may be swayed 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 also need to highlight the seriousness that your renters give you a current set of keys so that you’re constantly able to enter the premises of your property in El Cajon. Unfettered access will be needed to perform emergency repairs that could be harmful to the resident, their belongings, and your property.

The heart of the matter? Your concern as the landlord is to impart working locks and keys when a tenant moves in. Then they take on the responsibility. This denotes they’re accountable for replacement costs of keys and locks. Provided that they adhere to the procedures outlined in your lease or you verify to advise them to do so, you don’t risk losing anything from their striving to safeguard themselves and their property. 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 act right away. Documented communication should incorporate whether the tenant aspires to give copies of the new keys or if they will restore the locks to their original condition when they vacate your property. If your tenant falls short to obey or to choose a plan after an ample grace period, feel comfortable to let them see that you seek to deduct the replacement costs from their security deposit.

Also, one way to discourage tenants from changing locks on their own is by changing them between every tenant. Irrespective of how reliable a previous resident was, they should never have the possibility of re-entry after vacancy. You should, at all times, have knowledge of who has access to your property to hinder being sued for a future resident’s monetary losses. Despite the fact that keys are returned, you can never fully know how many copies were made, who else were they gave to, or where they currently reside.

You can count on Real Property Management Realevate Specialists to change locks before a new resident moves in. We’ll also care for all tenant communications to nail down that your El Cajon property is in the best hands. Please contact us online or call our Mission Valley office at 858-997-2100 or our Temecula office at 951-461-0100 for more information.

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.