Reasons to change the locks after moving into new property
Whenever you move into a new home, it’s important that the first thing you do as soon as the papers are signed is have new locks installed, or at very least, re-key the existing locks. If you are moving into an apartment or condominium that is considered to be a commercial property since the spaces are leased or rented, there are reasons to change the locks after moving into a new commercial property.
Someone was here before you
Even though the apartment is new to you, it was first rented to at least one other stranger before you. Not only might this former tenant still have a copy of the key, he or she has probably given a copy to who knows who. The bottom line is that you want to feel safe and secure inside your apartment, and you cannot ever be completely secure if a key to your front door is roaming around in the hands of someone you don’t know.
Even if the last tenant returned the keys, you have no way of knowing for sure whether or not the tenant made copies of the keys. The only way to gain full security in between tenants is to have new locks, or rekeyed locks that require a new key, installed. Before you do anything in regards to the locks, however, make sure it adheres to the guidelines of the lease and abides by state regulations.
Are You The Landlord?
From a landlord’s perspective, it’s always the best idea to include every scenario that could arise regarding locks changes in the lease. There are guidelines to know and situations that happen between landlords and tenants when attempting to changing or not changing locks on the commercial property. Some of scenarios that happen include abandonment or a defiant tenant.
Abandonment occurs when the tenant pays the rent through, say the end of the month but moves out before the month is over and failed to return the keys to the landlord but somehow during the course of her living there had the locks changed. Now, the landlord has no way of entering the apartment or of handing over keys to a new tenant. In this case, the landlord should notify the tenant that the locks will be changed back at the tenant’s expense or wait until the lease has expired and then change the locks back regardless. If the lease has not yet expired, the landlord does not have the right to tamper with the locks without the knowledge of the tenant even if the tenant has left.
When a landlord encounters a defiant tenant who has broken the lease by not paying rent and has destroyed the property, the landlord may decide to change the locks to keep the undesireable tenant out, but this is not legal. The landlord must first file an eviction notice and go through the proper procedures for evicting a tenant before changing the locks.
If the landlord allows the tenants to change their own locks or have a locksmith do it, it’s important to state in the lease that the tenant will then need to give the landlord a key to allow the landlord access to the apartment when necessary.
Gilbert Locksmith will discuss the reasons as well as come help you change the locks after moving into a new commercial property.