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Rental property - changing the lock on front door

(19 Posts)
catwithflowers Fri 05-Aug-11 06:43:18

I am about to move into a rental house and my dad would like me to write to the landlord asking if he will give me permission to change the locks on the front and back door. There seem to have been lots of tenants over the last few years (looks like the house had been sub-let judging from the many different names on the pile of mail on the doorstep!) and he is worried about security. Obviously, we will pay for new locks and make sure landlord has new keys but just wondering how you would feel as a landlord if you had this request? Are we being unreasonable?

Gonzo33 Fri 05-Aug-11 07:09:39

As a LL I wouldn't have a problem with it as long as the agency it was let through, or I had a copy of the keys within a week.

catwithflowers Fri 05-Aug-11 07:20:03

The landlord lives around the corner so he would have a copy of keys within the hour!!!

Helenfellows32 Fri 05-Aug-11 07:25:16

As a LL also I really think your over reacting.

If it was me I would only consider this is the tenant had been there for a while anyway. Can't see the point if your only there for six months anyway. Too must cost etc.

I would ask you never know.

BiscuitNibbler Fri 05-Aug-11 07:29:39

I'd definitely do this - I remember when I rented coming downstairs one morning to find a random stranger in the sitting room going through my stuff. When challenged he said "oh I have a key". If you are paying I can't see why the LL would object.

catwithflowers Fri 05-Aug-11 07:55:40

Helen, we will definitely live there for at least a year, probably longer if all goes well. Actually, it will cost us very little as locks are not expensive and my dad can do the work very easily himself. TBH, this would not have occured to me but my parents are much more cautious smile

mousymouse Fri 05-Aug-11 08:12:07

I wouls just exchange the locks myself and change it back when you move out. your ll doesn't need a copy. they need to tell you in advance before they enter your home , so you would arrange to be there anyway.

Fizzylemonade Fri 05-Aug-11 08:25:04

I definitely would, we moved into a property and the previous tenant tried to SELL us an extra set of keys she still had for our house in her possession shock

We told the letting agents and they told us what a lovely woman she was and not to worry. We did!

eskimorose Fri 05-Aug-11 08:28:06

I've been a LL. Should be fine. Ask LL first. In reality probably unnecessary but why not if it makes you happy.

Helenfellows32 Fri 05-Aug-11 08:32:47

That's shocking fizzy.

I have had nightmare tenants in the past so any changes kinda get my back up.

Maybe bolts top and bottom may be cheaper for you. No locksmith charges etc, but you would still need to ask. I have these in my home. Hubby works away and I wouldn't feel safe without them.

mousymouse Fri 05-Aug-11 09:03:06

those bolts are no good if you are not in the house...

halfbabyhalfbiscuit Fri 05-Aug-11 09:28:35

mouseymouse - that's shockingly bad advice. The landlord will definitely need a copy - it's his house and he has obligations to repair and maintain it.

OP - as a landlord, I'd be fine with you doing this (provided you gave me a copy of the new key!)

catwithflowers Fri 05-Aug-11 09:29:58

I just want to do everything properly! It says in the lease that we are only allowed to change the locks with the landlords consent. Helen, I echo what mousy says - bolts are only useful if you are IN the house. grin

catwithflowers Fri 05-Aug-11 09:35:00

I have rented out a flat that I owned years ago (my dad managed the property as I was living abroad) and I know how much hassle he had with some tenants. One woman lived there for 6 months and managed to break 3 ovens!! Another tenant moved in his girlfriend and their 3 young kids - it was a one bed flat - but I don't think they had anywhere else to go. They were fine as tenants but it must have been one heck of a squeeze!!

Now I'm on the other side of the fence, I plan on being a model tenant wink

mousymouse Fri 05-Aug-11 12:06:55

why should the landlord have a copy, he/she doesn't need it, as tge tannant will give access when required.
what is so shocking about the law that gives the tenant 'right to quiet enjoyment' of the property.

halfbabyhalfbiscuit Fri 05-Aug-11 12:37:32

A tenant's right to quiet enjoyment will not be breached by a landlord having a copy of a key! (i'm a property solicitor btw) No reasonable landlord expects to access a property that's rented out, unless there's an emergency.

The landlord needs access in case there are emergency repairs required, or if a tenant doesn't want to wait in for a plumber/electrician to turn up (lots of my tenants prefer my time to be wasted in this way, rather than theirs). Also a few of my tenants have locked themselves out and have been glad of me popping around with my spare set to let them back in.

OP - the landlord is probably just as conscious as you of the number of keys that may be floating about. I'm sure there will be no problem with it if you deal with it as you suggest.

mousymouse Fri 05-Aug-11 12:43:26

the problem is that many landlords don't seem to know this or chose to disregard the knowledge...anyway, my ll doesn't have a copy and if we need to get people in we arrange something with the agency. in addition this way we save on our contents insurance...

QuintessentialShadow Fri 05-Aug-11 12:43:53

My friend (another landlord) was very happy to have a key to the flat, when the neighbours called her and told her that they had not seen her tenant in a while. She was unable to contact him. He was dead in his bed.

There are numerous reasons why a landlord should need keys to his property, even if it is the tenants home. Emergency repairs is ONE thing. (accidental death of tenant in his sleep is not something I would classify as a reason why landlords should have a key, as I would imagine it is very rare)

catwithflowers Fri 05-Aug-11 13:55:21

Thank you everyone smile

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