If I had to change my locks on my apartment because of a break in, do I have to give my landlord a copy of my new keys?

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If I had to change my locks on my apartment because of a break in, do I have to give my landlord a copy of my new keys?

The break in did not have a forced entry and the only people who had copies of my keys were me and the landlord. After I changed my locks my landlord said I had to give her a copy of the new keys. Also, the first locks that were on there had not been changed in years.

Asked on January 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you were forced to change the locks on your apartment due to a break in, you are required to give your landlord a key to the premises under the laws of the state you live in. The landlord owns the unit you are renting. There may be an emergency situation where he or she needs access to your rental without notice.

The locks that you changed per your question were not changed in years. Possibly a former tenant used his or her key to the rental and broke into it. I advise my landlord clients to always change the locks whenever a new tenant occupies a rental to prevent a former tenant from getting access to it.


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