If a tenant changes the locks without providing us with a key, can we go in and change them andretain a key for ourselves?

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If a tenant changes the locks without providing us with a key, can we go in and change them andretain a key for ourselves?

Asked on January 17, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I presume you are the landlord of the rental that you are writing about. If you are the landlord and the tenant that you have in your property unilaterally changes the locks to the rental without telling you what he or she was going to do and did not give you the new key to the premises, you have the right to change the locks and keep a key for yourself after providing one to the tenant.

Before you do so, I suggest that you call the tenant up and ask for a copy of the new key. If the tenant refuses, I would then advise him or her of your intent to change the locks where the tenant will be provided a new key as well as yourself.

It is important for the property owner such as yourself to have access to the rental in the event of an emergency where access is needed by you.


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