Closed Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18
Like Tree1Likes

Thread: Landlord's Legal RIghts Regarding Keys to Rental Property

  1. #1
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ho Ho Ho, Wouldn't YOU like to know ;)?
    Posts
    7,817

    Landlord's Legal RIghts Regarding Keys to Rental Property

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    I am aware that LLs have the right to enter their rental property with proper legal notice given at least 24 hours in advance, or in case of an emergency, without such notice. I want to know what the specific law is with regard to their being entitled to have keys to the property.

    In my specific situation, my LL has a nasty habit of entering without notice (all non-emergency situations, just curiosity on her part). Despite my warnings to her and informing her that she was trespassing, she continued to violate my privacy. When it happened the last time, I installed new locks and did not give the LL a copy. Now she is demanding a copy of the new keys.

    I realize that the LL should, for all intents and purposes, have a key to property she rents to me. I do not dispute that. On the last occasion in which she illegally entered my rental unit, the door was locked and so she entered thru my open window instead. I figure that in a true emergency, she has already proven herself capable of getting into my rental unit without havng a key. God forbid, if it was really an emergency and she had to kick down my door to get in, that would be fine, too - and I'd accept liability for damages due to my not providing her with my key. I just really cringe at the thought of giving her easy access when she has already demonstrated her clear disregard for my right to privacy with no justifiable reason by entering without notice in multiple non-emergency instances before. That opens up a whole new problem - if she gets the key, she'll have carte blanche to enter when I'm not home, and I'll have given her the ability to do it. And I have no doubt that she will do it. As long as I have the only key, it provides me with some security in knowing she can't just walk in and snoop without my knowledge anytime she wants to, and after all, that was the whole point to my changing the locks anyway - to protect myself because she cannot seem to control herself.

    So, back to my original question. Does anyone know of a specific law or statute that REQUIRES me to give her my new key?
  2. #2
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sitting at the computer probably rolling my eyes at your post
    Posts
    13,435
    What does your LEASE/ RENTAL AGREEMENT say on the issue?
  3. #3
    Michigander is offline Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    44

    Have the LL arrested

    No lease would hold up in court for entrance "any damn old time" the LL feels like it. I had a LL once who would show up without notice but he never went in only check around the house and backyard .I was fine with that. Why do you stay there I would move ?
  4. #4
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ho Ho Ho, Wouldn't YOU like to know ;)?
    Posts
    7,817
    Quote Originally Posted by CourtClerk View Post
    What does your LEASE/ RENTAL AGREEMENT say on the issue?
    No written lease or rental agreement. We are on a m2m on a verbal agreement (I rent/sublet a room in a house from the tenant who rents the entire house).

    Again, in most instances I'd say the LL should have the keys, but given her track record, I hesitate out of security and privacy concerns.
  5. #5
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    35,403
    You do not have the right to refuse to give her a key. Set up a hidden camera so you can see if she enters when you are not there.
  6. #6
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ho Ho Ho, Wouldn't YOU like to know ;)?
    Posts
    7,817

    Been there, tried that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    No lease would hold up in court for entrance "any damn old time" the LL feels like it. I had a LL once who would show up without notice but he never went in only check around the house and backyard .I was fine with that. Why do you stay there I would move ?
    The last time she did it, I tried to have her arrested. The police refused, because I sublet a room in the house she herself rents. They said something about me being an unauthorized tenant (the police here don't seem to recognize subletting as a legal practice for some reason), and sided with my LL. I tried to explain that she gave me no notice, and they said she didn't need it in her own house. Totally disregarded my rights, wouldn't even take a report. Then said I was legally required to give her a key for next time she wanted to come in.

    Would a judge be able to order me to hand over a key? Is there a legal basis for this (other than the LLs desire to have one for convenience and ease of entry)? Is there a law I'm breaking if I don't?

    As for moving, I'm trying - believe me. But money is tight and I'm out of work, so nothing extra to spare. If only it were that easy... Just trying to hold out as long as I need to and preserve my rights along the way.
  7. #7
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4,095
    By changing the locks and refusing to give a copy to your landlord, as you well know you have violated the terms of the lease by two counts. First by changing the locks and thereby altering the property, and then by refusing to key a copy of the keys to your landlord. A landlord should not have to climb threw a window to enter his property in the event of an emergency. I have been able to render medical assistance twice to two different tenants, just by having a key. Your landlord should issue you a notice to quit and start eviction proceedings if you refuse to comply. Every tenant I have known has declared their commitment to own up to their responsibility for damage, up until you hand them the bill. Then, it becomes all about the money, who's fault it is and did the item really need to be replaced.

    If your landlord is entering without notice, then you get proof and take legal action.
  8. #8
    Michigander is offline Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    44

    No

    I believe a Judge would see the situation diffrent then the police. Police really do side with the LL as it is his property and rental rights are not something they sit and study.A judge on the other hand learns the rights of each party.A judge very often (I think ) sides with the tenant because LL are business and providing a service , and this can cloud their judgement on a person rights . I think I would find the money to move even if it is a room in someone elses home.
  9. #9
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4,095
    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    I believe a Judge would see the situation diffrent then the police. Police really do side with the LL as it is his property and rental rights are not something they sit and study.A judge on the other hand learns the rights of each party.A judge very often (I think ) sides with the tenant because LL are business and providing a service , and this can cloud their judgement on a person rights . I think I would find the money to move even if it is a room in someone elses home.
    I think you believe you are attending the Oprah show not a court room.
  10. #10
    Michigander is offline Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    44

    I have dealt with scum bag LL for 20 years

    I just went through such a situation and the Judge did ask me to tell him of everytime the LL was on the property with no notice. I don't think he would have wasted his time to ask if he didn't find something about it intresting. I thought your comment was pretty funny to about all agree till its time to pay the damages and let the money go. True LL talk ,LL believe that SD is theirs for the taking .When they should and have to return it ,they find some BS reason to keep it,because they have already spent it... I have rented for 20 years and have only once been taken to court for broken lease and damages and the LL didn't get ****,but the SD and I didn't fight for it I was willing to give it when I moved out .It cost him more money to go to court then it would have if he just left it alone . My mother in law who I deal with her LL and SD .Only one time I didn't have to fight her LL to get the SD back and he was a real estate agent who rented property. The Oprah comment sounds pretty stupid I can tell you a LL I wouldn't even give the time of day to little own rent one of your properties.
  11. #11
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    4,552
    Property owner ALWAYS have a right retain a copy of the keys to THEIR rental property. I doubt you wil find any ruling legal opinion/law on this since it is so BASIC a right for a holder of real property.
  12. #12
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ho Ho Ho, Wouldn't YOU like to know ;)?
    Posts
    7,817

    To all the LLs out there who responded...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cvillecpm View Post
    Property owner ALWAYS have a right retain a copy of the keys to THEIR rental property. I doubt you wil find any ruling legal opinion/law on this since it is so BASIC a right for a holder of real property.
    Perhaps so... but more than that is the BASIC right to privacy. I believe when a LL doesn't have the decency, business or common sense to respect their tenant's right to privacy, the assumed right to have a key to his property becomes more of a privilege, and one that SHOULD be taken away.

    Our laws DO address the right to privacy by requiring that a LL to give NOTICE when he enters HIS property rented to others, the only exception being in an emergency (which SHOULD be interpreted as threat of danger to life/health of the property he owns). It doesn't diminish his right to own the property, but it does limit his access to said property when he (in consideration of a rental agreement) allows someone else to be in possession of it. Keys are just a means to provide that access without difficulty or barrier to enter that rental property.

    While as a LL, it's nice, tidy, and preferable to have a key to make entry easy, I can't see that right being put down as a law. Or is it? (A law, that is...) Which, since we have gotten off track, trying to keep track of all the LL vs tenant volleys, is what I asked in the first place?!?!?

    IS THERE A SPECIFIC LAW OR STATUTE THAT ADDRESSES THIS?

    And while we're on that LL vs. Tenant stuff and all, I find it so refreshing that some of the LLs here are so eager to proclaim how their "rights" are always so much more important than that of their tenants. Guess they have been burned once too many times. Sad how it seems to justify their blatant prejudice against ALL tenants for the mistakes made by a few.

    I prefer MY view - treat your tenants as you would like to be treated if you were THEIR tenant. And this view comes from someone who has been both a LL and a tenant.

    But I digress...
  13. #13
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    4,552
    Notice, YES * removing their ability to have a key, NO....address the issue of no notice and not the fact that they have a key.
  14. #14
    Michigander is offline Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    44

    In Michigan it is called...

    Quiet Enjoyment. Look under CA landlord tenant laws. Rentlaw.com
  15. #15
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ho Ho Ho, Wouldn't YOU like to know ;)?
    Posts
    7,817

    "But I've always done it this way!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    Quiet Enjoyment. Look under CA landlord tenant laws. Rentlaw.com
    The covenant of quiet enjoyment basically says that the tenant has the right to enjoy the property for the purpose it was rented for. Unfortunately it does not address the issue of keys. I can't seem to find any statutes that do so far as my search has gone.

    As for the LLs... it seems to be a foregone conclusion that a property owner is entitled to have keys to their rental property. And (again, I repeat myself here) while I usually agree, that also assumes that the responsible property owner/LL will follow the laws when it comes to not intruding upon their tenants. The tenant's right to privacy is covered by CCP 1954, and the law provides specific remedies for violating that statute, especially when the right of entry is abused.

    I have evidence of said abuse, and am pursuing the LL in small claims for legal damages I am entitled to. And I can't see the logic in requiring me to provide ready access with my key for a lock that I installed to protect my right to privacy and protection from further abuses of that right by my unethical LL. I also cannot believe that a LL would have the audacity to insist that I give him the tools to use to abuse me further.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-20-2012, 02:21 PM
  2. rental rights when landlord sells
    By andirai in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-03-2011, 07:36 PM
  3. Landlord changed rental property...What can I do?
    By orange83 in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-18-2009, 07:41 PM
  4. landlord's right to keys to property
    By goodtry in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-02-2007, 06:12 AM
  5. Property Rights: Ownership Rights versus Right to Rental Incorme
    By garret in forum Construction & Renovation
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-15-2006, 09:49 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.