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scrfmah
10-04-2010, 13:12 PM
Hi Folks,

One of our tenants has lost her key to the main front door of the block. She is not sure if they were stolen from her bag in the local pub across the road or if she lost them.

The other tenants want the lock changed as the feel unsafe.

Can we bill the tenant that lost the keys for the lock and 8 replacement keys?

Thanks in Advance

Snorkerz
10-04-2010, 13:32 PM
Multiple tenancy agreements or joint tenancy agreement?

scrfmah
10-04-2010, 13:39 PM
Multiple- 8 Apartments with 8 different tenancies

Snorkerz
10-04-2010, 15:03 PM
Multiple- 8 Apartments with 8 different tenanciesI'd be inclined to do nothing. Each apartment has it's own security in place so it is only the communal areas. If they are apartments, not rooms, then the communal areas will have nothing of value anyway - no kitchen appliances etc. If Ts use the communal areas for storing bikes etc, that's their lookout - they only pay to lease the area on the AST and so should keep their belongings there.

westminster
10-04-2010, 20:43 PM
Can we bill the tenant that lost the keys for the lock and 8 replacement keys?

Is there anything in the tenancy agreement about keys/liability?

ram
11-04-2010, 00:35 AM
Can we bill the tenant that lost the keys for the lock and 8 replacement keys?

Do you want to upset the 7 tenants who want the keys changed, or let off the one tenant who lost the keys ?

Charge for new lock and 8 keys. It's a security / safety issue.

mind the gap
11-04-2010, 08:35 AM
I am inclined to agree with ram that the lock needs changing for security reasons. If I were one of the tenants I would not like the idea that someone locally might have the exterior door key and be able to access even the communal areas. Once in the communal areas it is much easier to break into bedrooms.

The trickier question, is who should pay? Some LLs would see it perhaps as one of the added expenses of managing an 8-bed HMO on separate ASTs but then the rental income is correspondingly higher, so it could be argued that this is an expense the LL should meet. Perhaps just the barrels of the lock could be replaced, which is cheaper to do than the whole lock?

If the LL feels strongly that this is not an expense he should cover, he could ask the T who lost the keys for the crime number (she should have been given one when she reported the suspected theft to the police). If she did not report it, I would charge her for the replacement of lock and keys on the assumption that it is much more likely that they were lost than stolen. Most TAs do actually contain a clause to the effect that Ts are liable in case of lost keys/locks needing changing. It could also be argued that if T is liable and you pay up on this occasion, then all 7 others will expect you to do the same when they lose theirs. Not ideal!

Mars Mug
11-04-2010, 08:58 AM
Replace just the lock mechanism, and take back any remaining keys. Then if this happens again in future you can replace the new lock with the old at little cost.

Snorkerz
11-04-2010, 14:51 PM
Some LLs would see it perhaps as one of the added expenses of managing an 8-bed HMO on separate ASTs but then the rental income is correspondingly higher, so it could be argued that this is an expense the LL should meet.The reason we differ in opinion is because this isn't an HMO, it is a block of 'apartments'.

I am no expert, but thinking about it, a block of flats would normally have a freeholder and a management company - in this instance, the responsibility initially would be on the management company. Obviously different when all the flats and the freehold is owned by the same person but I wonder if any parallels could be drawn?

mind the gap
11-04-2010, 15:19 PM
The reason we differ in opinion is because this isn't an HMO, it is a block of 'apartments'.

I am no expert, but thinking about it, a block of flats would normally have a freeholder and a management company - in this instance, the responsibility initially would be on the management company. Obviously different when all the flats and the freehold is owned by the same person but I wonder if any parallels could be drawn?

That's true - I didn't read it correctly. But I bet the management company/freeholder will charge the LL for new keys/locks.