Can no longer enter the building my apartment is in

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    Can no longer enter the building my apartment is in

    Hi all,

    I've only just found this forum, so apologies if I'm in the wrong place!

    My apartment front door key has always worked correctly. This question is solely about the communal front door.

    I am a tenant, and I've been renting this property since November 2019. For this entire time, the communal front door has been broken and non-locking. This means that I have had no reason to use the communal key the landlord gave me.

    Recently, the front door was repaired and now locks correctly, however I have learned that my key does not open the door! This means I am now effectively locked out of the building.

    I phoned my letting agent, and they told me I would have to contact building management.
    I phoned building management, who offered to send me a communal front key, but said they would have to charge me a lot for it.
    I then phoned my letting agent again, who told me the only offer they can make me is to lend me their front door key, and then I would have to pay someone to cut the key for me.

    I can afford to do that if I need to, but I feel like I shouldn't have to? I still have the key they gave me, and it's still in perfect condition - it just doesn't open that door!

    My tenancy agreement only stipulates that if I lose or damage the key, I will have to pay for it.

    I phoned CAB and they advised sending the letting agent a letter informing them that I am not required to pay for a new key, and they need to provide me with one.

    Does anyone have any more specific advice to offer me? Am I actually on the hook to pay for a new key?

    Thank you in advance!

    ------

    Here are the "new poster" questions:

    Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)?

    :: England

    Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only?

    :: Sole Tenant

    Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy?

    :: 2019-11-28

    Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)?

    :: 6 months

    Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)?

    :: Monthly, 28th

    Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)?

    :: Yes, mid November 2019

    Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy).

    :: N/A

    Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant?


    :: No

    #2
    Ok, this appears to have got totally out of hand over a key being cut ! I do agree with you that a ' free ' key should be given to you as the lock breaking was nothing to do with you..... have you called the LL and asked for them to get you a copy as well as the letting agent ? To be totally honest is seems mad that this much effort and discussion has gone on over something as simple as a key.
    Last edited by Hudson01; 15-04-2021, 16:50 PM. Reason: spelling

    Comment


      #3
      What sort of cost are we are talking about?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
        Ok, this appears to have got totally out of hand over a key being cut ! I do agree with you that a ' free ' key should be given to you as the lock breaking was nothing to do with you..... have you called the LL and asked for them to get you a copy as well as the letting agent ? To be totally honest is seems mad that this much effort and discussion has gone on over something as simple as a key.
        The Landlord and Letting Agent are the same company. They are the ones telling me that they can't give me a new key.

        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
        What sort of cost are we are talking about?
        Nobody has given me any numbers.
        Building management state there will be a cost.
        The letting agent says I should get it cut myself, but that I have to pay whatever that costs - so whatever it would cost to duplicate their key.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Naravia View Post
          The letting agent says I should get it cut myself, but that I have to pay whatever that costs - so whatever it would cost to duplicate their key.
          The last time I lived somewhere with a communal key, it was £50 to get a key cut.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the info 🙂

            I'm fortunate enough that I can afford to pay for a replacement key if I need to, but I feel like I really shouldn't have to! I've looked after the key they've given me, it's just the wrong key >_<

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Naravia View Post

              The Landlord and Letting Agent are the same company. They are the ones telling me that they can't give me a new key.
              Wow...... lesson 101 on how to ruin a perfectly good LL/Tenant relationship for the price of getting a key cut at Timpsons !!!!

              I feel sorry that you have had this nonsense to deal with, is the lock a high security one ? If not then a key being cut is normally below £10 and in my experience is closer to £5.

              Comment


                #8
                That's probably the most frustrating part about this whole thing!!

                A. my relationship with them up until now has been flawless, no complaints whatsoever
                B. my local Timpsons is currently unavailable due to COVID, and I can't drive, so it'd be a massive effort for me to get a new key cut anyway!

                I don't know if the lock is a high security one.

                The cylinder on the door says:

                UNION
                ASSA ABLOY

                The brand on the key says MaXus and the other side says T10, with a big X on the key.

                Googling, it looks like it's this cylinder: https://www.uniononline.co.uk/Other/...0Digitalv3.pdf
                And this key? https://www.sks.co.uk/maxus-6-pin-key-blank-t10

                I'm not a locksmith, but I don't think that key can ever fit that lock?

                Comment


                  #9
                  It may be that the key cannot be cut by normal locksmiths etc, i have high security 3 star anti snap euro cylinders and if i want extra keys i have to call Ultion (the maker) and give them a key code where they then produce a key for me, each key is just under £15 plus postage....... and they are as high security as you can currently get, so even if they are like mine, the amount should not be that excessive........ i still think you should be provide one for free.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Borrow their key then give them yours back instead of theirs?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Of course they should provide you one for free! The situation is ridiculous.

                      It might well be that the last tenant took the correct key and left the wrong one in error.

                      I'd do what royw suggests.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        As the letting agent is the landlord, I'd point out that by not giving you access to your property they are a) committing a criminal offence (Protection from Eviction Act) and b) are in breach of contract.

                        They need to enable your access to the property that you rent from them and stop messing about.

                        Alternatively, offer to get a taxi for the journeys to get the key cut and deduct the cost of the taxi and the keys from the next rent.
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If you can't get in, you'll have to phone them to let you in with their key and you might need to get back in six or seven times a day!

                          I hope the lock has a thumb turn so you can get out OK.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            It seems most likely that the freeholder is separate from the "letting agent and landlord" mentioned, and that FH changed the lock and sent out keys to the lessees -- one of which is your landlord. Or the FH dropped key off directly at your flat, and now claims you have to get another one as they have done their duty.

                            I don't particularly disagree with the other responses above, but I think there is a further interface here, and the person OP is calling the landlord/agent is not the FH.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              One of the blocks I manage has special front door lock and sounds very similar to this. Only one locksmith locally has the blanks and he has to have written consent from the agent to cut a key. The landlord has pay a charge of £50 to get a key cut and have good reason for doing so. Tenants are not allowed to get keys cut.



                              Freedom at the point of zero............

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