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View Full Version : Making a set of Key to for the landlord



Bobby.C
05-07-2005, 18:09 PM
My land lord calls me today and asks me to make her a spare set of key to the house because her one is broken. She says it is the law and she must own the key to the property. If we do not make her the set of key she will change the lock to the door.

Can anyone tell me is it really the law the Land Lord must own the key to the property? To be honest our relationship and not great and I won't trust her with the key. The Neighbourhood is not safe and the house had been broken into in 2003. Many thanks!

RichieP
05-07-2005, 20:05 PM
As far as I know you don't have to let her have a set of keys. She has no right to access the property, even writing in advance, unless there are emergency repairs that need to be carried out.

MrWoof
05-07-2005, 22:25 PM
As a landlord, I would make the same request and if the tenant failed to comply, I would change the locks and give the tenant one set of keys. The reason is simply that there can be occasions when the LL must gain access, emergency repairs for example. While most of my tenants have been excellent, even the best seem reluctant to make time for essential maintenance, including the gas safety check, so having a set of keys enables me to comply with the law. (I've never had to use my set though, the tenants have always seemed to find the time when I have notified them that I will use my own keys if necessary to permit work to be done.)

Andy Parker
06-07-2005, 09:16 AM
RichieP - You have contradicted yourself - the LL does require access in the case of emergencies.
I cannot see a reasonable objection to allowing the LL a set of keys to their own property.You can deal with unauthorised access using existing laws if necessary.As an LL I would not keep a tenant who refused access completely as I like to inspect the properties every few months (arising from an incident when a tenant stole the central heating boiler and floorboards in one of my properties).

dazalock
06-07-2005, 09:23 AM
Dont see the problem here, the LL needs a set for all the afore mentioned reasons, make a set and ask for the cost of the keys, plus a little for your time and travel.

Andy - How would an inspection help, I assume the tenant removed the floorboads and boiler when they were leaving, not a couple of months before, that would be crazy .... mind you, they do sound bonkers anyway.

Andy Parker
06-07-2005, 09:44 AM
dazalock - The tenant removed the heating (including radiators) and the floorboards whilst he was living at the property.I would have noticed this if I had inspected the property.The tenant had a drink problem.

RichieP
06-07-2005, 10:18 AM
I guess I did Andy, but landlords don't really have the right to enter properties to inspect them as far as I'm aware. It doesn't stop them including a clause in the tenancy to allow it or them doing it.

steve42
07-07-2005, 08:23 AM
I fit a registered locks to all my properties, the locks are in a series so I always have a single 'master' key that opens any door to any property. :)

But that doesn't deal with changed locks, I should put a clause in the contract for that I quess. :rolleyes:

Is this a case of unlocking the stable door after the horse has bolted? ;)

Andy Parker
07-07-2005, 08:39 AM
RichieP - The LL has no right of entry without the tenant's consent except for emergencies eg fire,water leaks,gas leaks etc.As an LL I would not accept tenants who insisted on keeping the LL out of the property.

ngadef
07-07-2005, 10:48 AM
Surely the LL is only allowed reasonable access to assess repairs & carry out emergency work

If there is an AST I would have thought it was unlawful for the LL to enter without permission

The tenant has rented a home & the LL is invading their privacy if he can just walk in any time

With attitudes like you lot no wonder private sector LLs have such a bad image

Ericthelobster
07-07-2005, 12:14 PM
To be honest our relationship and not great and I won't trust her with the key.
But you expect her to trust you with her property, worth what, 100K? 200K or something?

The Neighbourhood is not safe and the house had been broken into in 2003.What's the relevance of that to whether the landlord has a key?

ngadef
07-07-2005, 12:27 PM
It's a legal contract Eric

The landlord chooses to let out the '100k' house for money

So they shouldn't have a right to enter the house at any time

Anything else can be covered the tenancy, the police & insurance

Andy Parker
07-07-2005, 16:09 PM
ngadef - IMO a regular inspection to check the condition of the property is not unreasonable.If consent for this is withheld I would wonder why and boot out the tenant just in case.

dazalock
07-07-2005, 17:23 PM
Surely the LL is only allowed reasonable access to assess repairs & carry out emergency work

If there is an AST I would have thought it was unlawful for the LL to enter without permission

The tenant has rented a home & the LL is invading their privacy if he can just walk in any time

With attitudes like you lot no wonder private sector LLs have such a bad image

I think you got "Us Lot" mixed up with those who do what they want without consulting boards like this to see what is right and wrong. Surely a good tenant LL relationship is give and take. A good LL will want to check the property is well maintained and safe, he will contact the tenant to arrange a suitable time, a good tenant will accomodate this request in the knowledge that the LL takes an active interest in his/her welfare. A bad LL, as you said will either Walk in when he wants or completely ignore the property until the rent stops, a bad tenant will rip up floor boards and take away boilers and refuse the LL entry. Im sure none of Us lot are like any of these things.

Ericthelobster
07-07-2005, 18:39 PM
It's a legal contract Eric. The landlord chooses to let out the '100k' house for money. So they shouldn't have a right to enter the house at any timeSure, I appreciate that. In the 4 years I've been a landlord I have never once entered a property without the tenant's permission; and I have always made it crystal clear to my tenants that I never would do so other than in a genuine emergemcy - which I think they respect and I am sure has helped make for very good relationships with my tenants, which is key to successful landlording. If within that framework, one of my tenants suddenly turned round and said they didn't want me to have a key, then I would not be a Happy Bunny, and as someone else has pointed out, I'd want to know why.

lawstudent
08-07-2005, 06:25 AM
The tenant has rented a home & the LL is invading their privacy if he can just walk in any time

With attitudes like you lot no wonder private sector LLs have such a bad imageNo LL here said he wanted to "just walk in any time". If brain-dead prejudice like yours is common, ngadef, no wonder private sector LLs have such a bad image.

Jennifer_M
08-07-2005, 08:32 AM
I was wondering something: if there was an emergency at the house like say a gas or water leak, or a fire (which would be probably the only emergencies that could affect the house), the LL wouldn't know about it unless someone phoned him.
Now if it was such an emergency, the wise thing to do would be to phone the emergency services not the LL ! By the time someone finds out who the LL is and he gets there (unless he lives opposite the street) the emergency services would have solved the problem and gone.
Also if there is such an emergency, the LL can't do anything anyway with the key of the house: if gas leak you'd be stupid to get into the house as it could explode, if fire it's even more stupid to get in. Only the water leak could be fixed by the LL if it's not major.

So, what is the real point of having a key ?

P.Pilcher
08-07-2005, 09:13 AM
And that is precicely why I needed my key to one of my properties not so long ago. It is a first floor maisonnette and the underneath neighbour telephoned me to say that water was dripping through his ceiling but my tenant could not be contacted. I entered (armed with witness), fixed the leak explained the situation to tenant who returned while I was at work, and saved myself the cost of repairing the neighbours ceiling as I caught the problem in time!

P.P.

lawstudent
08-07-2005, 09:49 AM
Jennifer - are you really so mentally challenged that you cannot see the point in the LL's having a key, or are you attempting to make some quasi-political point?

Energise
08-07-2005, 09:53 AM
So, what is the real point of having a key ?

One of my tenants was recently arrested, and the Police were on the way to the house to do a search which would of meant them breaking in through 2 doors, by a total fluke I contacted them about another incident at that precise time and on them realising I was the landlord of that property I was able to go and let them in.

Thats just one circumstance that could not have been forseen and there are bound to be many more.

justaboutsane
08-07-2005, 10:19 AM
Another reason for a Landlord needing a key, say a repair needs to be carried out and the tenant has to work, by giving a TRUSTED! work man a seperate key the tenant does not have to worry about being there. We have done this on numerous occasions, with the tenants permission we have given our workman a key, this way the tenant can go to work and the workman can come and go as necessary. Also if the tenant loses a key they will know the landlord has a copy just in case.

Have you not thought about when the tenant has left the property, "done a runner" or whatever, if a landlord has a key at least they can get in (after all normal eviction procedures have been followed) without having to break in and incur additional costs.

I am both a Property Manager and a private tenant, I have always kept a spare set of all keys to our properties, in a locked keysafe, and I have always ensured my landlord has a set of keys to my property. I don't see it as an issue.

lawstudent
08-07-2005, 11:01 AM
It's a legal contract Eric

The landlord chooses to let out the '100k' house for money... and the tenant chooses to accept the terms on offer. The LL should reserve the right to enter the property from time to time to inspect its condition, and if the tenant is not happy with this he has every right to go away and darken someone else's door.

Jennifer_M
08-07-2005, 18:16 PM
Jennifer - are you really so mentally challenged that you cannot see the point in the LL's having a key, or are you attempting to make some quasi-political point?

Lawstudent do you have a constructive and intelligent answer to give or are you just being nasty for the sake of it ?

lawstudent
08-07-2005, 18:36 PM
Lawstudent do you have a constructive and intelligent answer to give or are you just being nasty for the sake of it ?I would never be nasty. There are many reasons why the LL needs a key, as several people have tried to explain to you. If you still fail to get it, I fear there is no hope.

Jennifer_M
08-07-2005, 18:37 PM
I don't see it as an issue.

I don't either, I was simply asking the question because some LL claim that they only wanted keys in the case of emergency and (apart from P.Pilcher's case) I didn't see what a LL could do in such case. I still think it's wiser to call the emergency services first.

You and P.Pilcher answered my question, thank you. The reasons brought forward don't qualify as emergencies though, the tenants can still refuse access if they want to, which makes the keys less useful.
The problem is a LL who's asked why he needs a key and says it's only for emergencies could be faced with the same argument and a tenant refusing to give the keys.
I think a proper law should say (if there isn't one already) that a LL must have a spare key to his property to answer the problem, rather than "I want some keys because I'm kind of entitled to".

Jennifer_M
08-07-2005, 18:46 PM
I would never be nasty. There are many reasons why the LL needs a key, as several people have tried to explain to you. If you still fail to get it, I fear there is no hope.

Nasty, insulting, unpleasant, have a pick Lawstudent.

You just can't help it: "as several people have tried to explain to you. If you still fail to get it, I fear there is no hope".

I perfectly 'get' people's reason surprisingly enough, once I've had a chance to read them !

Andy Parker
08-07-2005, 18:57 PM
I have come to the conclusion that it is the tenants who shouldn't have a key.Once 'biometric' locks improve none of my tenants will ever get a key.

lawstudent - Jennifer is French so she is upset over the 2012 Olympics.I hope you passed your exams after all that extra tuition from Paul F!

Jennifer_M
08-07-2005, 22:57 PM
lawstudent - Jennifer is French so she is upset over the 2012 Olympics.I hope you passed your exams after all that extra tuition from Paul F!

Yeah or maybe I couldn't care less... Anyway it's a good thing some Brits aren't so insecure and jealous that they try to prove something to the French. :)

Tax Accountant
09-07-2005, 17:54 PM
I agree with Law Student that the comments by Ngadef are totally uncalled for as no one suggested the things attributed to the contributors by Ngadef.

I also symphathise with Law Students comments about Jennifer, although his tone was too harsh to get his point across.

It should be obvious that a landlord needs to retain a key for a number of lawful reasons and this is beneficial to both parties on majority of occasions. In my case a tenant often asks me to let her in as she had locked herself out of the house. Also a tenant ofter asks me to enter the property in her absence to accompany a workman to effect repairs to the property.

The tenant in this thread has no real reason not to provide a key to the landlord at a reasonable cost.

Ramnik

Andy Parker
09-07-2005, 23:12 PM
Karongo - The tenant should not be allowed to copy any keys let alone put in his own locks otherwise future tenants will not be secure.

lawstudent
10-07-2005, 23:16 PM
Jennifer is French so she is upset over the 2012 Olympics.I hope you passed your exams after all that extra tuition from Paul F!Andy, it's not being French that's Jennifer's problem; most French people are quite intelligent.

Andy Parker
11-07-2005, 00:31 AM
lawstudent - I daresay Jacques Chirac is very bright AND upset that the 2012 Olympics were awarded to London AND French.