Tenant changing locks

by Readers Question

9:58 AM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Tenant changing locks

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Tenant changing locks

Can a Tenant change the locks without permission and without telling the Landlord? Tenant changing locks

I read my tenacy agreement from landlord association and it does not mention that tenants can’t change the locks.

Does anyone have any advice about this?

I am not that bothered really, but I am not sure they should do that.

I haven’t got any keys to the house now.

My husband went to do some work in there, because there was a water leak and found that the key didn’t work.

Thanks

Christine



Comments

Paul Franklin

12:09 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

As a landlord of an assured shorthold tenant you do not have to give a reason if you want to end the tenancy. S.21 allows you to give 2 months notice without having to have any 'grounds' for eviction. Therefore if the tenant changed their hair colour and you didn't llike it you could seek to end the tenancy if you really wanted. Therefore in many ways it's not about what the tenant is and isn't allowed to do, it's about what you consider reasonable/acceptable and what you want to do about it.

Jonathan R

12:23 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Christine,

I believe the tenant is within their rights to do this. If you have a good relationship with the tenant try asking them if they mind you holding a copy of the key "for emergencies" or have a chat with them about why they have changed the locks.

Jonathan

Dee Mc

14:32 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Christine

I assume the tenants were given notice that your husband was intending to visit the property to carry out works and what time he would be coming. If so, and he had their permission to let himself in, why did they not advise you that the locks have been changed? If however, they were unaware and you husband did not have their permission to let himself in, this could be why they changed the locks.

Ray Davison

14:46 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

The bottom line is - It is their home and within reason they can treat it as such including changing the locks. They can refuse you entry if they wish.

However I agree with you that I always like to have a key in case of emergencies and also do carry out repairs (At the convenience of and with the agreement of the Tenant). As always it is about always having an open line of communication with your tenants - do you have this? If communication has broken down to the extent that they will not cooperate with necessary maintenance then as has been said already it is probably time to issue a S21. Just make sure you are not the cause of such a breakdown in communication either by your actions or having unreasonable expectations of what you will allow your tenant to do or how they should live.

Christine Fletcher

18:16 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Thank you for all your comments. I do have a good relationship with my tenant. We did notify her about doing the work. Not sure why she didn't let us know she had changed the locks. I will find out. I didn't know that tenants had such powers. I think it has put me off about being a Landlord. I have only been a Landlord for two years and never had any problems. The more I read on this site, the less I like it. Thank you once again for all your help everyone.

Mark Leach

19:49 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

I disagree with all the above. I am a professional landlord of over 25 years and always have pass keys for all my 80 odd residential properties and it states in my tenancy aggreements that this is my requirement. I also tell my tenants when signing up that I will never enter their flats without their permission but if there was an emergency ie water leaking below etc and could not contact them then I would use the pass key, no reasonable tenant would object to this and if they are not reasonable they are not for me !!

Ray Davison

19:55 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

It may be as simple as to prevent an ex entering the property or maybe she lost a key and did the sensible thing and changed the locks as a precaution. Unless you have fallen out over something it sounds unlikely that the reason was anything to do with you.

Re being a Landlord, we all gripe from time to time and hit problems of various kinds but that is the same with any business and you just have to work with it and have procedures to deal with such things. When we had retail shops people stole from us and once someone tried to punch me across the counter because he didn't like the fact that his mobile phone had broken down despite the fact that we were going to sort it out for him! Being a Landlord is a business, you have customers and regulations to adhere to. It isn't the easy money some make it out to be - unless you are very lucky.

Ray Davison

20:05 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by " " at "27/07/2015 - 19:49":

Hi anonymous,,
Firstly can you please add a name to your profile as it's good to see who you are talking to.

Re your post, what do you disagree with?

Having an open line of communication? It sounds like you do have such communication.

The Tenant's right to refuse you entry? Whatever you write in your tenancy agreement it cannot remove their legal rights and they do have the right to refuse you entry. It sounds like you have the same discussion as we do with your tenants when they move in and I have never encountered a problem with access but I do understand their rights to restrict that access if they wish.

Serving a S21? If communications has broken down to the extent that you cannot maintain the property when it really needs it then I don't see what else you can.

Mark Leach

20:21 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Ray,
Have just updated my profile. I disagree that tenants can change the locks without giving you a pass key thereby stopping your access for emergencies. Communication is great and yes the section 21 is great too and would be given by me if I or my gas service engineer was denied reasonable access. I would consider that a breakdown of our business relationship.
Best Wishes

Ray Davison

20:25 PM, 27th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Mark,
Thanks for adding your name, it's so much nicer.

Re the locks, maybe the locks per se are a nuance and debatable but the right to refuse entry is a fact based on repeated advise from many legal quarters. We might have to disagree on that for now though.

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