Profile picture for misty925

Can a renter change the locks?

I am thinking about renting a condo. I'm a single woman, and my first thought is always safety. Am I allowed to changed the locks once I move in as I do not know who has a key to this place and that scares me.
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December 16 2011 - Melbourne
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Usually yes with some caveats.  Please do this in a discussion with the landlord/property management company.   They will want it done to their standard, and they will need to have a key.

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December 16 2011
You can change the locks with the owners permission.  The owner would have to get a key with the new lock.
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December 16 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
Talk to your landlord. Some will tell you that the locks were changed, but I would not accept that without proof because many times it is simply not true. A good landlord always changes lock between tenants, but it is an expense so many skip it.

You can offer to change the locks yourself and give them a new key for access. I would make the request in writing and state your concerns about safety as a single woman. Better safe than sorry.
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December 16 2011
Definately not a big deal. I would be concerned if a landlord said no. As the others stated, the landlord may require the lock to be of a certain brand and finish and will most certainly require a copy. With Kwiksets relatively new line of "smart keys" it takes seconds to "change" a lock.
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December 18 2011

If the home is being managed professionally, you need to make sure the mgmt company or Property manager is aware that the keys have been changed.  As long as communication is open, there should be no problem.

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December 19 2011
The owner or property manager should have changed the locks for you, prior to your moving in.  The lease will disclose if the locks have been changed or not.  I have a property management company and I don't allow my tenants to change the locks.  The main reason is that tenants rarely give a copy of the key and if a water leak or other problem arises, the manager cannot gain entry.  Performing maintenance is a scheduling problem as well if the tenant needs to be home to allow repairmen entry.  If you are uncomfortable in your unit, you may want to move to a safer building, neighborhood, or have a roommate move in.  For additional safety, check that all the windows lock, and that the door frames are in good condition, all prior to moving in.  Living in a in a gated complex may be a consideration as well. 
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December 20 2011
You cannot change locks without the consent of the landlord/owner. This is stated in writing in most leases.
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December 20 2011
Check your lease, if it isn't addressed in the lease call the landlord or property management company to discuss.
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December 20 2011
check with your [Hotlink removed by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for more information.] but it is usually frowned upon by the landlord
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February 22 2012
Profile picture for Caveat Emptor
please try to avoid Spam and self promotion as it is against zillow's GNP, thanks.
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February 23 2012
As a landlord I wouldn't have a problem with a tenant changing locks as long as they gave me a key immediately. 

I did once have a tenant who changed locks without notifying me, then never gave me a copy. That became a huge problem with a story I won't go into.

In any case, just talk to your landlord. They should be okay with it.
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February 23 2012
As a landlord/Property Manager, this is a no-no, especially without permission, on our standard lease. We re-key the locks between tenants, to ensure there are no keys drifting around who-knows-where. We put special locks on the doors that we can re-key ourselves, and key them to our master key. If a tenant felt insecure for some reason, they could ask us to re-key the locks again and provide them a new key (at cost which is stated in the lease). Always best to review your lease and check with the landlord first!
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February 23 2012
I would recommend that you include a provision in any lease that the landlord will re-key or change the locks on the property prior to you taking possession.
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February 23 2012
Profile picture for TimothyGriswold6
You can change the locks on your door anytime you want for your personal well being, however not giving a copy of the key to your landlord is grounds for a seven day eviction notice which has to take it's course through the court system.
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May 03
 
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