Should Your Change the Locks After A Tenant Moves Out or Not?

Change Locks

Your tenant’s lease just recently ended and now after cleaning, repainting and doing some minor renovations to your rental property you’re ready to list that property online but did you change the locks?

Even though you’re doing your part to get that rental property ready for rent the reality is that if you haven’t changed those locks yet you could be putting yourself in a sticky situation legally because it’s possible that copies of the key to your rental may still be out there.

If a copy of your key was made by your former tenant they could re-enter the rental property at any time and help themselves to your tenant’s belongings while they are away.

Why Changing the Locks Once Isn’t Enough?

Let’s say that you changed the locks after your tenant moves out. That’s great, but did you know that there are other situations when you should change the locks to your rental property as well?

When a Key Is Lost

It might seem overkill to change the locks after a renter loses just one key, but it′s a small price to pay to guarantee peace of mind for the manager, the owner, and the tenant. While it′s unlikely the lost key will end up in the wrong hands, in the off chance that it does, it could spell disaster for all. When you′re dealing with prospective renters, letting them know that you take this extra security measure seriously can be a differentiator that demonstrates your commitment to safety.

When a Vendor Is Finished Working on the Property

Especially if you′ve just started using a new vendor or if you′ve had disagreements with one in the past, it′s important to recognize that vendors could have copies of your keys that you′re unaware of. When work is completed, hiring an independent locksmith to change your locks helps maintain a high degree of security. It′s also a good idea to be on-site to let vendors in and out of a building while you build a relationship with them instead of leaving a key in a lockbox and allowing all contractors to access it.

According to statistics from the FBI, 73.2 percent of all burglaries are committed on residential properties. When a tenant moves into a property, unless the locks are brand-new, it′s impossible for them to know who has made copies over the years and can access the unit at any time. Just one safety mistake has the potential to result in break-ins, theft, and, in the worst-case scenario, the irreparable loss of human life.

A great way for property managers to stay on top of security measures is by using smart home technologies, including smart locks and exterior cameras. Smart locks with access codes can log who enters a property and the time of entry, preventing landlords from having to have locks rekeyed for new tenants or vendors. Exterior cameras can record clips at unoccupied properties (as well as be an asset to tenants for self-monitored security when they move in).

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For professional property management in the Central Valley contact RPM Central Valley today by calling us at (209) 572-2222 or click here to connect with us online.