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  1. #1
    vovka77 is offline Junior Member
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    Tenant changed locks, unwilling to give keys to apartment

    What is the name of your state? New York State

    I have a situation, as I came into posession of a legal 2 family house with the tenant residing in a studio aprtment. I do not have the keys to the apartment, as the previous owner of the house has misplaced them and did not provide me with a copy.
    I have repetedly asked the tenant for the copy of the keys, as I told her I would need to have a copy for emergency situation in case of a fire or a flood I would need to acess the premises.
    The tenant has not provided the keys to me. In fact, she changed the locks on the door
    I have told the tenant that I would have no choice but to change the locks and that provide her with the key and have a key for myself as well.

    What is my recourse?
  2. #2
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by vovka77 View Post
    What is my recourse?
    This is.

    Quote Originally Posted by vovka77 View Post
    I have told the tenant that I would have no choice but to change the locks and that provide her with the key and have a key for myself as well.
    Send her a bill for the service

    Please note - in nys tenants are allowed to have their own lock, but MUST provide the landlord with the key.
  3. #3
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    Give a full 24 hr. notice that if you are not provided keys , you will be coming with a locksmith to change the locks and you will provide the tenant with copies of the keys .

    Since you came into possession without the prior owner providing keys , In my opinion you have no right to charge the Tenant for the change of locks .

    Although as was stated often tenants change locks for various reasons , but must provide the LL with a copy . They at least owe you one set of Keys , if they changed a lock , or if they won't , you could charge them for the one lock change .
    Last edited by BL; 05-30-2007 at 02:53 PM.
  4. #4
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
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    Cool

    Your tenant is testing you and HOW you react will color your relationship with this tenant for the balance of the lease/tenancy.

    Call a locksmith and arrange a time to meet him/her at the property to provide you with a key to the locks for the apt....you don't have to CHANGE the locks, the locksmith can provide you with keys the tenant already has...therefore, there is no need to provide keys to the tenant.

    If you have a vacant unit, have those locks CHANGED at the same time so that you will have FRESH keys for the new tenant and you will have keys for your file.

    You need to be FIRM with your tenant while realizing that it is NOT HER problem that the old owner did not have keys for you...she may well have provided them to him and he lost them.
  5. #5
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    According to the landlord, the tenant has changed the locks themselves SINCE the landlord took over.

    Quote Originally Posted by vovka77
    The tenant has not provided the keys to me. In fact, she changed the locks on the door
    This tenant is required to give a key under these circumstances.

    The tenant could allow the LL to borrow her spare key and make a copy at a drug store for .99 cents... not doing this is going to cost the tenant hundreds (well at least $75)
  6. #6
    Who's Liable? is offline Senior Member
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    Send a letter CRR to the tenant giving them the option of appearing with you and the locksmith to change the locks. Inform the tenant per your states LL/T laws, they are REQUIRED to provide you with a key, even quote the statute.
    It would be nice if you would inform them that this first initial lock change will be of no charge to her, BUT if she continues to change the locks, you will be forced to call a locksmith and charge her for all associated fees each time you are required to change the locks.
  7. #7
    vovka77 is offline Junior Member
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    Tenant Changed locks, refuses to provide keys

    Just an update.
    I have provided a letter to the tenant letting her know that she is required by law to give me keys to the premises. I let her know that if they keys are not given to me within 7 days, I will have the locksmith come in and change the locks and will provide her with keys. I have even provided a legal quote from a statute that dictates that a key has to be provided to the landlord.
    My question is this. If the tenant fails to respond, and I call the locksmith, do I have the right to change the lock and leave a note on her door, to come see me so I can give her keys to the apartment?
    Thanks
  8. #8
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by vovka77 View Post
    My question is this. If the tenant fails to respond, and I call the locksmith, do I have the right to change the lock and leave a note on her door, to come see me so I can give her keys to the apartment?
    Thanks
    Absolutely. You can give her the bill at that time too.
  9. #9
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by xylene View Post
    Absolutely. You can give her the bill at that time too.
    However, I wouldn't make her receipt of the key contingent on receiving the payment. That wouldn't be legal.
  10. #10
    Who's Liable? is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by vovka77 View Post
    What is the name of your state? New York State

    I have a situation, as I came into posession of a legal 2 family house with the tenant residing in a studio aprtment. I do not have the keys to the apartment, as the previous owner of the house has misplaced them and did not provide me with a copy.
    I have repetedly asked the tenant for the copy of the keys, as I told her I would need to have a copy for emergency situation in case of a fire or a flood I would need to acess the premises.
    The tenant has not provided the keys to me. In fact, she changed the locks on the door
    I have told the tenant that I would have no choice but to change the locks and that provide her with the key and have a key for myself as well.

    What is my recourse?
    You are correct... The tenant MUST provide you with a key if they have changed the locks. Send the tenant a letter CRR stating you will need to either get a copy of the key from her, or you will change the locks and provide a key to her. Note in the letter that you will give her a copy of the key free of charge, but should you need to re-lock the unit, you will charge her. Give the tenant several different dates and times that you will be out to chang ethe locks, and ask that she provide the same.

    Should you find that the tenant refuses to commit to a date or does not answer you within two weeks, send her another CRR letter stating you will be changing the locks and will give her a key.

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