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Landlord does not want to give me keys

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suji104

New member
California.

We just signed a lease for a rental home. After signing the lease, the landlord told us she will not be providing physical keys to the property. We were told we have to use the keypad to unlock the front door deadbolt lock (even though it has a traditional key), and use garage opener remotes or keypad to enter via the garage. When we enter through the garage, there is a door to enter the home which has a deadbolt lock, but she will not give us keys for it, so we cannot lock the door if we expect anyone to enter from the garage.

We were caught by surprise that she can just deny to provide physical keys to the property? We asked her to reconsider and she says we have so many ways to enter the property, so she does not plan to provide keys. Is this is even legal?
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
Yes it's legal. You should have covered all this before signing the lease and handing over the money.

Since you can get in to the house in any number of ways, just quietly replace the lock on the inside door from the garage. Store the old lock so you can re-install it when you move out. Deadbolt locks are cheap and easy to install.
 

quincy

Senior Member
I know it can cost more to replace locks/keys after each tenant than it can be to reprogram key pad codes.

Did your landlord tell you WHY she is not providing keys? Finding out the reason behind her reluctance to provide keys will be the first step in finding a reasonable argument for having keys.
 

suji104

New member
I know it can cost more to replace locks/keys after each tenant than it can be to reprogram key pad codes.

Did your landlord tell you WHY she is not providing keys? Finding out the reason behind her reluctance to provide keys will be the first step in finding a reasonable argument for having keys.
She literally told me that she spoke to neighbors and they have not provided keys to their tenants, so she does not have to do it either. She also mentioned that she will need to change the key for the next tenant, which is not required per California law. Even if it was it would be a landlord expense, we are going to pay hey 40000 in rent over the next year, it costs maybe $200 to rekey two locks. She is just being cheap or trying to be a pain in the ass.
 

Mass_Shyster

Senior Member
I would not move into a house where there was a combination lock for entry and I had no idea who may have that combination. I'd inform the landlord that I was not moving in because he refused to provide keys, and go to court if necessary to try to get back any monies paid.

This is simply my opinion. I do not know if I would be held liable for the duration of the lease, or if I would be successful getting back my money, but I would not move into that unit.

we are going to pay hey 40000 in rent over the next year
Since you can afford that kind of rent, I suggest getting a consultation with a tenant's rights attorney immediately/
 

eerelations

Senior Member
I've not seen a door lock that didn't have a battery in it.
I used to live at the very back (so no street access) of a small six-unit loft building in Toronto. The front door had a keypad and a Medeco lock. Stupidly, I kept my Medeco key at home - 'cause hey! There's a keypad! One freezing (and dark!) evening I returned home from work during a power outtage. Keypad would not work. I had to throw snow at my front-of-building neighbours' windows 'til one of them came out and let me into the building.
 

eerelations

Senior Member
I would not move into a house where there was a combination lock for entry and I had no idea who may have that combination.
Our building manager changed the keypad combo every six months + whenever a resident moved out (not frequent, the building was GREAT!!! huge loft spaces, two storeys, 13' ceilings upstairs, 9' ceilings downstairs, beautifully decorated, original hardwood floors, private gardens, friendly community etc.) and then emailed the new combo to residents. So, some security.
 

quincy

Senior Member
I would not move into a house where there was a combination lock for entry and I had no idea who may have that combination. I'd inform the landlord that I was not moving in because he refused to provide keys, and go to court if necessary to try to get back any monies paid.

This is simply my opinion. I do not know if I would be held liable for the duration of the lease, or if I would be successful getting back my money, but I would not move into that unit.


Since you can afford that kind of rent, I suggest getting a consultation with a tenant's rights attorney immediately/
What I have quoted above: There can be duplicates made of keys so a tenant really has no idea who might have a key to a unit either. There is a certain amount of trust that is needed between a landlord and a tenant.

I agree that speaking to a tenant attorney would be smart.
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
If you take it upon your self to change the cylinders your self or just swap the locks out , make sure you save the old ones and re install her locks right before you move out. Battery run keypad locks do fail and as mentioned above the good brand punch pad ones can too. BTW you are free to argue with the LL when she discovers you have changed the locks your self that part of her obligation to maintain the homes mechanical systems and keep them working as they were designed to work would have been for her to get her fanny out of bed or stop what ever she was doing and get over there to let you in if the locks failed since she thought it was okay to refuse to give you keys to use the locks as they were designed , and ask her how she would explain her refusal to give keys to the house was justified since she did not install KEYLLESS locks to a Judge.
 

quincy

Senior Member
If you take it upon your self to change the cylinders your self or just swap the locks out , make sure you save the old ones and re install her locks right before you move out. Battery run keypad locks do fail and as mentioned above the good brand punch pad ones can too.
I do not recommend switching out locks. The landlord needs access to the unit.
 

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