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Changing The Locks As Soon As You Move In


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I hear a lot about renters changing the locks and many advise to do so as soon as they move into the rental property.

I was just curious - is it actually legal or contravenes the AST to do this if you could remove the old lock, put a new one in, keep the old lock with the set of keys and keep it safe until you give up the property for when you put it back.

Thanks

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I have always done it despite the tenancy contract saying I can't, but no agency or landlord has ever had an issue with it (when they found out).

You can always say you don't trust previous tenants not to have made a copy of the key and that you would hold the agency personally responsible in case you get a break-in where it looks like the burglar must have used a copy of the key.

Edited by The Eagle
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I have always done it despite the tenancy contract saying I can't, but no agency or landlord has ever had an issue with it (when they found out).

You can always say you don't trust previous tenants not to have made a copy of the key and that you would hold the agency personally responsible in case you get a break-in where it looks like the burglar must have used a copy of the key.

Good answer, the peace of mind is worth any grief you could receive - IF they found out.

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I have always done it despite the tenancy contract saying I can't, but no agency or landlord has ever had an issue with it (when they found out).

You can always say you don't trust previous tenants not to have made a copy of the key and that you would hold the agency personally responsible in case you get a break-in where it looks like the burglar must have used a copy of the key.

This would be a reasonable argument, my agency would want spare keys to the new locks, so it won't keep them out..

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I would give you notice to quit if you did , as a matter of principle.

id leave if you did....as a matter of principle....

Tenant Changed Locks - My tenant is 3 months into an assured shorthold tenancy. I requested access to the flat to do an inspection but my tenant has refused point blank. I now find he has also changed the locks. Can he do this? What can I do about it?

If your tenant decides to bar your entry to the property there is nothing you can do about it. If you persist in trying you could be accused of harassment, which is a criminal offence - not worth the risk.

The only time you could in theory gain access in this situation would be if there is a dire emergency - fire, gas leaks etc.

There is nothing in law which prevents the tenant changing the locks, except that you are entitled to have them returned back to normal when the tenant leaves, if you so wish.

To gain access for essential maintenance or for any other reason you should give your tenant/s at least 24 hours notice and ask their permission.

Most tenants are happy to give this but some may insist they are present when you have access. This can sometimes cause problems with timing especially if they are working. Fixing up times with workmen and tenants can them become troublesome, but you must comply.

If your tenant refuses access for essential annual gas checks this can be a real problem. Again, you should not persist to the point of harassment. Do your best to persuade, but after that you should put your requests in writing.

To cover yourself legally, send copies of letters to: (1) your local authority Environmental Health Officer or Rent Relations Officer, and (2) The Health & Safety Executive.

©LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved - never rely totally on these standard answers. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of the case and all documents to hand.

Edited by Bloo Loo
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id leave if you did....as a matter of principle....

Tenant Changed Locks - My tenant is 3 months into an assured shorthold tenancy. I requested access to the flat to do an inspection but my tenant has refused point blank. I now find he has also changed the locks. Can he do this? What can I do about it?

If your tenant decides to bar your entry to the property there is nothing you can do about it. If you persist in trying you could be accused of harassment, which is a criminal offence - not worth the risk.

The only time you could in theory gain access in this situation would be if there is a dire emergency - fire, gas leaks etc.

There is nothing in law which prevents the tenant changing the locks, except that you are entitled to have them returned back to normal when the tenant leaves, if you so wish.

To gain access for essential maintenance or for any other reason you should give your tenant/s at least 24 hours notice and ask their permission.

Most tenants are happy to give this but some may insist they are present when you have access. This can sometimes cause problems with timing especially if they are working. Fixing up times with workmen and tenants can them become troublesome, but you must comply.

If your tenant refuses access for essential annual gas checks this can be a real problem. Again, you should not persist to the point of harassment. Do your best to persuade, but after that you should put your requests in writing.

To cover yourself legally, send copies of letters to: (1) your local authority Environmental Health Officer or Rent Relations Officer, and (2) The Health & Safety Executive.

©LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved - never rely totally on these standard answers. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of the case and all documents to hand.

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And i know you are right by the letter of the law, but imho there is immediately an element of distrust introduced which will lead to non cooperation by both parties. as a landlord i would cease any improvements planned, and would be as bloody awkward about when i could go there as the tenant would be doing. In fact i might make it a point of principle to make the tenant take time off work for as long as possible. And for what? So the tenant can make believe he has gained some ridiculous bit of power. All so petty in my opinion. Then another move is on the cards to ease the landlords perceived worry about his house. I doubt many landlords are hovering around to make unauthorised visits to a tenants house.

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And i know you are right by the letter of the law, but imho there is immediately an element of distrust introduced which will lead to non cooperation by both parties. as a landlord i would cease any improvements planned, and would be as bloody awkward about when i could go there as the tenant would be doing. In fact i might make it a point of principle to make the tenant take time off work for as long as possible. And for what? So the tenant can make believe he has gained some ridiculous bit of power. All so petty in my opinion. Then another move is on the cards to ease the landlords perceived worry about his house. I doubt many landlords are hovering around to make unauthorised visits to a tenants house.

So weak, i hope your tenants take you to the cleaners.

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And i know you are right by the letter of the law, but imho there is immediately an element of distrust introduced which will lead to non cooperation by both parties. as a landlord i would cease any improvements planned, and would be as bloody awkward about when i could go there as the tenant would be doing. In fact i might make it a point of principle to make the tenant take time off work for as long as possible. And for what? So the tenant can make believe he has gained some ridiculous bit of power. All so petty in my opinion. Then another move is on the cards to ease the landlords perceived worry about his house. I doubt many landlords are hovering around to make unauthorised visits to a tenants house.

Pathetic!!

So a tenant moved in and quite legally changes the locks, You would therefore cease any improvements planned (what about required by law?) and would then attempt to be awkward about when you visit... "make the tenant take time off", the tenant would be quite within their rights to tell you to get stuffed, ever heard of a) mutually convinient and B) what you are legally allowed to do

I presume you think the tenant is your serf? your attitude on this thread certainly doesnt give a good opinion of you as a landlord

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Pathetic!!

So a tenant moved in and quite legally changes the locks, You would therefore cease any improvements planned (what about required by law?) and would then attempt to be awkward about when you visit... "make the tenant take time off", the tenant would be quite within their rights to tell you to get stuffed, ever heard of a) mutually convinient and B) what you are legally allowed to do

I presume you think the tenant is your serf? your attitude on this thread certainly doesnt give a good opinion of you as a landlord

yes ffing right i would. i would consider the tenant was happy to be left alone. If a tenant changes locks and is expects to be there whenever anything is repaired or improved, then so be it. more to the point, it a mutual trust, not a mutual convenience. i have never attempted to gain entry without asking, but then i have never had a tenant change the locks. and my time is as important to me as the tenants time . if a tenant had changed locks i assume he is quite happy to take time off work to be there for the essential repairs and maintainance. how do you expect to get anytjhing done either by a landlord or a contracter without mutual trust.

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yes ffing right i would. i would consider the tenant was happy to be left alone. If a tenant changes locks and is expects to be there whenever anything is repaired or improved, then so be it. more to the point, it a mutual trust, not a mutual convenience. i have never attempted to gain entry without asking, but then i have never had a tenant change the locks. and my time is as important to me as the tenants time . if a tenant had changed locks i assume he is quite happy to take time off work to be there for the essential repairs and maintainance. how do you expect to get anytjhing done either by a landlord or a contracter without mutual trust.

and as a matter of fact i get on very well with tenants. i dont consider them to be anything but equals.

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why would they? i never had anyony that interested in changing the locks.

I was a tenant. The Letting Agency told me they were coming to check the house, as was their right according to the letting contract. I said NO. End of story.

Of course I would never trust the Landlord or Letting Agent with the key to my front door. Why on earth should I? It is MY home just so long as I pay the rent. So I change the lock. To do otherwise seems to me to be rather silly and naive.

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and as a matter of fact i get on very well with tenants. i dont consider them to be anything but equals.

No offence, but hen a new tenant starts, they won't know that about you. It could well be that they've moved from a tenancy th a LL who does let themself in whenever they fancy, and wants to protect themselves from it this time around.

I'd love my agent to arrange a mutually agreed time, but basically it's when they say they'll come, and if I'm not in, they'll let themselves in. It stinks. If I was moving to a new tenancy, I'd change the locks having read the posts above.

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Fair enough, but to be honest thats where mutual trust comes in. If you have no intention of trusting a landlord you dont have to rent their house. And the landlord is trusting that he has a reliable tenant. I use an agent so if their is an emergency i leave it too them to handle the access stuff. If a tenant asks me to improve something, or i have to go fix something i dont expect to be pissed around because a tenant cannot get off work etc, or just decide its not convenient for him. Thats what the trust is for. u. Unless their was a really good reason, like a vulnerable women or something i would be a bit miffed if i was asked to do something and coudnt get in.

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i dont consider them to be anything but equals.

You ought to consider them to be paying customers who are protected by law from illegal entry into their home.

Here's the order of priority:

Tenant. It is their home

Bank. It is their property

Landlord. Small businessman usually in debt up to their eyeballs, and if they entered the game recently, a very bad one.

Edited by cybernoid
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Fair enough, but to be honest thats where mutual trust comes in. If you have no intention of trusting a landlord you dont have to rent their house.

Don't take it personally. The desire to change the locks has more to do with not trusting previous tenants. When you move into a place you have no way of knowing who might have copies of keys so it's totally rational to change the locks.

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and as a matter of fact i get on very well with tenants. i dont consider them to be anything but equals.

better give them a spare key to your place then...just for mutual security you understand.

As it happens, my LL lives next door...he is very respectful and so are we...we are great tenants compare to those he has had before. He has a spare key.

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Fair enough, but to be honest thats where mutual trust comes in. If you have no intention of trusting a landlord you dont have to rent their house. And the landlord is trusting that he has a reliable tenant. I use an agent so if their is an emergency i leave it too them to handle the access stuff. If a tenant asks me to improve something, or i have to go fix something i dont expect to be pissed around because a tenant cannot get off work etc, or just decide its not convenient for him. Thats what the trust is for. u. Unless their was a really good reason, like a vulnerable women or something i would be a bit miffed if i was asked to do something and coudnt get in.

This is true for a good relationship...My ex landlord was 150 miles away, and it was the agent who communicated between us, until I tracked him down to lodge my issues with him, which to be fair, he says were the first he had heard and second, were attended to within 24 hours.

The other issue on locks is the ex tenants...If agents cant trust you with their check box approval of you, how can you possibly as a tenant, trust the ex tenants...the whole BTL thing seems to be built on mistrust...

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Fair enough, but to be honest thats where mutual trust comes in. If you have no intention of trusting a landlord you dont have to rent their house. And the landlord is trusting that he has a reliable tenant. I use an agent so if their is an emergency i leave it too them to handle the access stuff. If a tenant asks me to improve something, or i have to go fix something i dont expect to be pissed around because a tenant cannot get off work etc, or just decide its not convenient for him. Thats what the trust is for. u. Unless their was a really good reason, like a vulnerable women or something i would be a bit miffed if i was asked to do something and coudnt get in.

I have put my own Yale barrels on my front door, and installed a burglar alarm.

If my landlord wishes to enter my flat for a legitimate reason, lets me know beforehand and I can't be in at the mutually agreed time, then I will replace the original Yale barrel and give him the alarm code. After the visit, I will replace my own Yale barrel and change the code.

This is not because I don't trust the landlord (quite the contrary: the property manager of the organisation I rent from who deals with me is, as far as I can tell, totally honest and professional), but (i) because of the previous tenant issue others have noted, and (ii) because the LL uses a whole range of contractors, who are in and out of the building all the time, some of whom I have my doubts about. A few years ago I returned home to find that my flat had clearly been entered and things moved about. It turned out that an electrician working on another flat in the building had been into mine 'to check something', which he was able to do because he'd been given a bunch of keys for all eight flats in the building. It was after that incident that I changed the Yale barrel.

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I have put my own Yale barrels on my front door, and installed a burglar alarm.

If my landlord wishes to enter my flat for a legitimate reason, lets me know beforehand and I can't be in at the mutually agreed time, then I will replace the original Yale barrel and give him the alarm code. After the visit, I will replace my own Yale barrel and change the code.

This is not because I don't trust the landlord (quite the contrary: the property manager of the organisation I rent from who deals with me is, as far as I can tell, totally honest and professional), but (i) because of the previous tenant issue others have noted, and (ii) because the LL uses a whole range of contractors, who are in and out of the building all the time, some of whom I have my doubts about. A few years ago I returned home to find that my flat had clearly been entered and things moved about. It turned out that an electrician working on another flat in the building had been into mine 'to check something', which he was able to do because he'd been given a bunch of keys for all eight flats in the building. It was after that incident that I changed the Yale barrel.

Maybe it depends on the house and the type of tenant. I have had problems with younger people. Now just have families, who by and large are a lot less likely to a problem. I can understand the fact there may be keys kicking about , but its unlikely a respectable previous tenant would be tempted to use them because they are all married with wives and kids. If a tenant wanted to change and gave keys to the agent and to me i dont suppose it would worry me. Incidentally i just had a new tenant tell me the door wont lock. Said just go to fix it without them around. It makes things easier.

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