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Should Landlords Change Locks For New Tenants?

Should Landlords Change Locks For New Tenants?

As a landlord, you're responsible for providing all of your tenants with a safe property for them to live in. This means that yes, change the locks to your rental property every time a tenant leaves.

What if the tenant returns all the keys to the locks?

You should still change the locks, even if the tenant that moved out returns all the keys. Why? Well, there are a couple different reasons:

  1. You have no way to know if that tenant made additional copies of their keys while returning the ones you gave them. If you were to continue using the same locks, it's possible for your old tenant to have access to your new tenant's home. This could open you up to litigation issues that will cost a lot more than just changing the locks.
  2. This gives you the opportunity to upgrade all of your regular locks to SmartKey door locks. Regular door locks require you to replace the locks in order to change the keys. This is fine if you're not changing locks often but as a landlord, you'll change locks too often. The SmartKey locks allow you to re-key your locks by yourself, as many times as you like - without having to replace the hardware on the door. I use these on my rental property and love being able to re-key my locks and use 1 key for every lock. Fewer keys to manage = happier me.

Should I change the door locks if I’m house hacking?

Yep! Even if you’re house hacking, change the locks every time your tenant or roommate moves out. If you’re house hacking a multi-family, you will change your door locks less than house hacking a single-family because of having multiple tenants in the same house.

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