Should a landlord pay for a locksmith?

Should a landlord pay for a locksmith?

11:55 AM, 3rd October 2022, About 2 months ago 44

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Hi, Our tenant has given us a notice. I advertised my property and arranged a viewing.

I asked permission of the tenant – Can I show the property as they were not available and were out during viewings. They happily agreed.

I showed the house and locked the house before leaving the property.

Later my tenant called me and asked why have I locked the house as they couldn’t enter the property as they hadn’t taken the key for bottom main lock.

Note – the main door has two locks – one Yale and the main lock.

I was a 4 hour drive away and asked them to call a locksmith.

Now the tenant has paid their rent but deducting locksmith charge of £250.

Should the landlord be bearing the charge because tenant didn’t lock the property in the first place?

And secondly they forgot to take the keys with them.

The tenant’s argument is why I locked the property when I was leaving.

Thanks,

Aastha



Comments

Graham Bowcock

17:39 PM, 3rd October 2022, About 2 months ago

It doesn't sound unreasonable that you should pay. Presumably it was open when you arrived. It's quite common for people to only use one lock.

Aastha gautam

17:41 PM, 3rd October 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Graham Bowcock at 03/10/2022 - 17:39
Tenant went out without all the keys?

Graham Bowcock

17:45 PM, 3rd October 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Aastha gautam at 03/10/2022 - 17:41
You locked a door that was presumably open to start with.

They were doing you a favour by letting you enter the house to do viewings. They could have made you wait until they had moved out.

You're on a course for falling out with them as they leave - this is never a good idea.

It's only £250.

TheBiggerPicture

17:57 PM, 3rd October 2022, About 2 months ago

One of those unfortunate situations.

As a general rule, I always lock a house in the same manor I found it.

Lyn

18:19 PM, 3rd October 2022, About 2 months ago

You took appropriate measures to ensure the security of the property so I consider you did the correct thing.
By not securing the property properly your tenant is very likely invalidating the insurance.

Your tenancy agreement very likely states you have a right to enter the property to show prospective tenants round. It may also state the property should be properly secured.

She should make payment for your out of pocket expenses caused by her error.

Aastha gautam

19:06 PM, 3rd October 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Lyn at 03/10/2022 - 18:19
Hi Lynn,
That's my point to tenant. I have provided them fully furnished house.
They shoulf be locking the door but instead they left it insecure.
Yes it is mentioned in contract that tenant will let landlord show the property within 4 weeks of end of contract.
Moreover i took permission if they are comfortable and they said they are ok.
Now tenant statement is.. They will decide how they will lock the property.

Dylan Morris

20:27 PM, 3rd October 2022, About 2 months ago

Well you did ask them to call a locksmith.

DSR

9:49 AM, 4th October 2022, About 2 months ago

if you gave them both keys at the start of the tenancy and it is noted as such, and you locked the door using both locks on exit then no you should not pay for a locksmith.
If you had two locks fitted for security and they were aware of this at the start of the tenancy then thats the agreed position to start from. If your AST states they should secure the property when they leave then they failed to do this using all the locks available then they are technically in breach of the AST. NB Your insurance policy would assume on exit every lock would be turned (try making a claim for burglary/similar if you then only locked one lock yet had two available!)
Its more a matter of the £250 in this case and weighing up if its worth the hassle etc chasing and then having a 'cloud' over the LL/tenant relationship. You can always make your case clear, request the £250 and if not forthcoming, keep a note of the communication and timeline details etc and request a deduction from the deposit if it is a sticking point. The adjudicator will decide. BUT if you have all the info, reference to the AST and can show they were in breach, then you can use the decision of the adjudicator as the reason for the decision as are supposed to be independant and the only thing they should look at is where the breach falls. That way you avoid confrontation now, but the sting to them comes later.

The issue is that YOU asked them to call a locksmith. Unfortunately this is to your detriment and they could not legitimately claim they were only doing what you said to do unless you SPECIFICALLY stated they would still have to pay if you did call someone out. While I have all sympathy that you did what you thought was the right thing, in this case they will use this against you . I would have referred them to find their own one (especially given the distance you live away) and state that they would be paying as a result.

Dylan Morris

10:06 AM, 4th October 2022, About 2 months ago

I know hindsight is a wonderful thing but, it would have been better for you to travel 4 hours if you were able to, to open the door. Given that you’re happy to travel this huge distance involving so much time (I assume 8 hours round trip) to conduct viewings then an extra trip would be here nor there. Which begs the question why aren’t you using a local agent ? We have two problems here. The tenants didn’t have all of their keys with them and you live such a distance away from the property that it’s difficult for you to manage yourself.

Aastha gautam

10:34 AM, 4th October 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 04/10/2022 - 10:06
Dylan looks like you have made many assumptions already here.
1- I live locally. After viewing i travelled to my friends place. (people do have weekend plans)
2- using local agent is completely a personal choice I am unsure why you even brings this unrelated topic.
3- Tenants have all the keys for them to successfully enter into property. They choose not to take all the keys with them.
Landlord cant be blame for the choice tenants made.

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