Can tenants change their locks without telling the landlord?

Can tenants change their locks without telling the landlord?

I can’t answer for every state (although I’m willing to bet the answer is similar for most states), and I don’t know what the laws are outside of the U.S.

However in most cases, when they do this, they’re denying you access to your property. You need to be able to perform repairs and you have a right to periodic inspections. Some states may have laws that allow
tenants to change the locks if they provide you notice and a key, but I can’t imagine a state allowinga tenant to lock you out of your own property. That would make it easy for a tenant to avoid eviction for a few
days.

If I had a tenant do this to me, l’d send them notice that they need to come in and talk to me about it. My position is that I, or someone I hire, does any and all maintenance on my properties. I do not let tenants do any repairs (other than light things like filling in nail holes in the walls from hanging pictures). I want to know that any work is done properly and by a licensed contractor.

If the lock is damaged and needs replacing, I’l do it (or contract it out) at no cost to the tenant and put in a new door and lock at my expense and make sure they have the appropriate number of keys for it. however, they need a new lock because, for example,
they gave a key to a boyfriend who turned out to be dangerous, I would charge them for the parts and labor.

If I find they’ve replace the lock, as I said, l’d ask them to come in and discuss it. They can take their lock and return it to get their money back. I would put the new lock in under the terms I mentioned above. Ifthey refuse to remove their lock, I would give them 24hours to remove it or provide me a key so I can get itfixed by my contractor.

If they do not comply. I’l hire a
locksmith, have them open the lock, then have my person replace it, and 1l charge them for the locksmith as well as the cost of installing the new lock. (And ‘l let them know if they do it again, they’ll be paying for another locksmith.)

I consider it unacceptable for a tenant to do repairs like this or make changes in an apartment and it’s unacceptable (and illegal in my state) for them to keep me from having access to the property. If they
have an issue with that and insist on continually locking me out, I will inform them their actions constitute breaking the lease and when the termination date is. If they’re not out by then, I’l eviot them.

I know it sounds like I’m being anal and a pain in the backside, but there are lines that need to be drawn if one is going to run a business like this properly.


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