As a rental property owner in Bellevue, you know that your residents are often worried about their personal safety. As new residents move into a rental home, they might ask questions about changing the locks so that past residents or other persons with keys to the property can no longer access the residence. In certain places, local laws do not require a landlord to change the locks between residents, and so some property owners might feel that such a cost is unnecessary.
If the resident asks, do you need to change or re-key the locks?
The straightforward answer is no, you are most likely not obligated to change the locks upon request. Nonetheless, it is important to think about the potential consequences of opting not do so.
As the property owner, you are tasked with providing your Bellevue residents with the means to secure the home. After residents have signed the lease, you provide them with keys, garage door openers, or passcodes for them access to the property but also to secure the property. Residents usually make multiple copies of their keys for family members or even neighbors, and when they do move out of a rental home, they might forget to collect and properly dispose of these copies.
If you don’t change or re-key the locks, and someone is able to access to the residence illicitly, you can be sued and held responsible for damages. Particularly in cases of domestic abuse, divorce, or family problems, or even if an old roommate is a concern, changing the locks between residents is a crucial step in protecting yourself from legal liability.
Of course, the locks are just one piece of a rental home’s system. Garage door openers, keypads, and other access devices are also possible risks. Residents might give their entry codes to babysitters, repairmen, or others who need to enter the home when they are not there. Careful management of passcodes, remote controls, and so on should be incorporated into your property management strategy, including changing codes or replacing remote controls as needed to help guarantee the safety of your residents.
At Real Property Management Eclipse, we want to make sure that your residents are the only people who get to access your rental properties. That is why we include lock changes between residents as an essential part of our property management services. Our approach is designed to protect you and your properties with the best practices in the industry. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 425-209-0252 today.