2019 summer, who's there? The rules for changing door lock

Description: Whether you change door lock or your tenant changes them, you need to know what you should do. Let us go through a couple of scenarios to give you a better understanding of your rights.

Two common Scenarios you should meet with your door lock


Your tenant has paid the rent through September 30th. However, she has moved out on Sept. 10… She and her belongings are gone. However, the tenant not only did not return your keys to you, you discovered on Sept. 12. that she also changed the door lock.

Now you can’t get inside to ready the place for the next tenant. Can you change the locks in this case? Let’s assume that your lease doesn’t address with this issue.

What you should do

Notify your tenant that you intend to change door lock back at their expense and see if she does it on her own accord. If not, wait until Oct. 1, and change the locks back when the lease has ended.

Picture 1: Consider and be careful with door lock before your tenant leave your department

Or change the locks after she doesn’t respond to your inquiry. Then, you should notify your tenant that you have done so. Let her know that she can pick up an extra key from you if she would like to enter up until Sept. 30. However, if she does, she must return the key to you on or before Sept. 30.

What you shouldn’t do

Change the door lock between Sept-11 and Sept-30 and fail to notify your tenant. You can’t do that because she has paid through September 30. As a result, she has the right to have access to the property until then.

Whether you choose to wait until Oct-1st or change door lock immediately, you can probably deduct from the security deposit. Because it costs you to change exterior door lock since your tenant didn’t give you an extra key. This varies by state, so check your state laws carefully.

Defiant Tenant

Your tenant has broken the lease by not paying rent and by destroying the property. Therefore, you need to decide to change the locks to keep out this undesirable tenant. Then you put his belongings on the curb. You can’t do that anyway!

Picture 2: Choosing a suitable tenant to give him/ her your apartment door lock

Changing the exterior lock without going through the proper eviction procedures is considered “taking the law into your own hands,”. You can also hear somewhere as a “self-help eviction” and it’s illegal in almost every state.

In fact, this deadbeat tenant can sue you for doing that! This tenant could award monetary loss, such as hotel costs and the now-spoiled food that was in fridge. Depending on your jurisdiction, your tenant could receive even more money that the court considers penalties to you. Because it could amount to several months’ worth of rent!

Your recourse is the eviction process. However, it might be cheaper and/or faster to pay a tenant to get out sometimes. Consider the cost of each way. However keep in mind that even if you do offer to pay a tenant to leave, she can refuse. After that, you need to go through the eviction process anyway.

Add a door lock policy good enough in your lease

Your lease can include language that prohibits a tenant from changing door lock. Of course, unless you give permission and get an extra key. Once your lease doesn’t state anything about door lock, tenants can typically change them.

In some states in America, such as California and New Jersey, tenants can change the locks. Moreover, they can not give you a key unless your lease states otherwise!

You should always have a key to your property by your side

You need door lock to access in case of an emergency. You also need access to make repairs or to let in repair people your tenant isn’t home. However, after you have alerted your tenant about this and have given the proper notice.

Picture 3: Be sure you’re having your own door lock, in emergency situation

If you allow your tenants to change exterior lock, it’s important to state in the lease. Because they need to give you a key – that way, it’s a lease violation if they don’t.

Some thoughts about changing current door lock

Although you might not be required to change door lock between tenants, you might want to consider doing so. Once your last tenant returned the keys to you, you have no way of knowing whether that tenant made extra keys. The only way to make sure the place is secure is to change door lock.

If you don’t want to change handle lock when a new tenant moves in, it’s a good idea to allow your tenants to do. So that, if it will make them feel more comfortable. You don’t want to start off with bad mojo in time.

If the worst happens, and a former tenant did keep an extra key so she could come back. Or otherwise victimize your new tenant, your new tenant could sue you and would certainly want to move.

You’d be far better off changing lock or letting your tenant change them. Just insist they give you a key. Ask HeleH Italy any question about door lock, handle lock, digital lock, contact us here: http://heleh.it/.