As a West Bend rental property owner, you know that your residents often have serious personal safety concerns. As new residents move into a rental home, they may bring up questions regarding the changing the locks to make sure that former residents or other people with keys to the property can no longer get into the residence. Local laws in a number of areas do not require a landlord to change the locks between residents, and certain property owners believe that this expense is not needed.
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 if asked. Nonetheless, it is important to think about the potential effects should you opt to not do so.
As the owner of the property, you are responsible for providing your West Bend residents with the means to secure the home. When residents sign the lease, you give them the keys, garage door openers, or passcodes needed to access the property as well as a means to secure the property. Residents have an inclination to create numerous copies of their keys for family members or even neighbors, and when they move out of a rental home, they could forget to collect and correctly dispose of these copies.
If you don’t change or re-key the locks, and someone is able to illegally access the residence, you could be sued and held liable for damages. Especially in matters of domestic abuse, divorce, or family issues, or even if a former roommate is a concern, changing the locks between residents is a crucial part of shielding 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 are potential risks too. Residents might have given entry codes to babysitters, repairmen, or others who require access to the home when they are not there. Careful management of passcodes, remote controls, and so on should be incorporated in your property management strategy, including changing codes or replacing remote controls when needed so as to ensure your residents’ safety.
At Real Property Management Greater Milwaukee, we want to make sure that the only people who can access your rental properties are your residents. That is why we include lock changes between residents as a significant component of our property management services. Our approach is designed to protect you and your properties using the best practices in the industry. To find out more, contact us online or call us at 262-309-6961 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.