Are landlords allowed a key if locks changed?

John asks:
(updated on Thursday, November 18th 2010)

My tenants changed the front door lock and refuse to let me have a key. Am I entitled to one?

Our Experts Answer:

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 does not specifically require tenants to provide a landlord with a key where locks are changed, however landlords and tenants do need to agree to any alteration, addition, or removal of any locks.

Where a tenant wishes to alter a lock, the landlord may require the tenant to provide a key as part of their consent. Such agreements should be recorded in writing, preferably on the tenancy agreement.

If the tenant did not obtain your consent to change the lock, you can negotiate with the tenant as to whether a key is to be provided, or if the lock is to be returned to its original condition.

To discuss your situation further, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

 

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