As an owner of a Baton Rouge rental property, you know that your residents usually have serious concerns regarding their personal safety. New residents might bring up questions about changing the locks once they move into a rental home to ensure that previous residents or other people with keys to the property can no longer enter the residence. Local laws in certain areas don’t require a landlord to change the locks between residents, and so some property owners might deem such an expense as not necessary.
If the resident asks, do you need to change or re-key the locks?
The straightforward answer is no, you are probably not required to change the locks if asked. Still, you have to think about the potential consequences of not doing so.
As the property owner, you are responsible for providing your Baton Rouge residents with the means to secure the home. After residents have signed the lease, you provide them with keys, garage door openers, or passcodes for them access to the property but also to secure the property. Residents typically make multiple copies of their keys for family members or even neighbors, and once they move out of a rental home, they may not always remember to collect and properly get rid of these copies.
If you don’t change or re-key the locks, and somebody is able to illicitly access the residence, you could face a lawsuit and be deemed responsible for damages. Particularly in matters of domestic abuse, divorce, or family issues, or even if a past roommate is a concern, changing the locks between residents is an essential step in protecting yourself from legal liability.
Of course, the locks are just one part of a rental home’s system. Garage door openers, keypads, and other access devices are potential risks as well. Residents may share entry codes with babysitters, repairmen, or others who require access to the home when they are not there. Careful management of passcodes, remote controls, and so on must be part of your property management strategy, including changing codes or replacing remote controls when needed to help guarantee the safety of your residents.
At Real Property Management Baton Rouge, we want to ensure that the only people who can access your rental properties are your residents. That is why we include lock changes between residents as an important component of our property management services. Our approach is designed to protect you and your properties using the best practices in the industry. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 225-389-6860 today.