AgentRentals

Landlord gives tenant grief over lock change

How far can one legally go to ensure personal safety?

Question: I recently changed the locks to the front door of my apartment and immediately provided the landlord with a new key. The landlord then sent a letter indicating that I violated the lease by making an "alteration" to the property. Is this correct? There is no provision in the lease about changing locks, but there is a provision that it is a violation of the lease if alterations are made to the apartment without the landlords' approval. Property Manager Griswold replies: The proper handling of keys is extremely important for both tenants and landlords. There are wide differences in the legal requirements about re-keying door locks, with some states specifically forbidding the tenants from re-keying. However, even if your landlord is within his/her rights to require advance approval of any alteration of the property, I believe that it is not unreasonable for a tenant to want the peace of mind of having changed the lockset. While a lock change is clearly an alteration to the pro...

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