If you are planning to move into a rental apartment, you probably want to know whether the landlord or real estate agency has changed the keys so the old tenant doesn’t have a set of keys to get in.
Although landlords should change the keys between tenants, many do not, either because they never thought of it before or because they do not want to spend the extra time or money to do so. However, changing keys after the old tenant moves out is an important apartment safety consideration. Even if the landlord does not typically change the keys, you should ask if they will make an exception and do it for you.
Check the lease agreement to see what it states regarding changes of keys, and then follow up to confirm that this practice is happening.
Can you change the keys?
As a tenant, it is important you don’t change the locks on your own without checking with the landlord or real estate agent because you could end up violating the terms of your lease agreement.
Many lease agreements have clauses about changes to the property without permission. Changing the locks falls into that category.
Sometimes you are allowed add an extra lock if you provide a copy of the key to the landlord. You should ask the landlord first.
What You Should Avoid Doing?
It is important to seek permission before doing anything to ensure you do not breach any contracts. Also, try not to make copies and give to friends / roommates unless you have written permission to do so. In most cases, the landlord or leasing agent will pass on copies to all residents of the apartment. If the lock is broken and needs attention, ask for permission to get it fixed or changed.
If you are not sure about what to do when it comes to lock changes, the best step is to ask your landlord or leasing agent for clarity.