Private landlords and availability of spare keys

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  • Private landlords and availability of spare keys

    Just wondered what other LLs (ie self-managing) typically do about letting tenants in to their homes if/when they lock themselves out, if the LL is not at home? I always have my mobile phone with me for tenants to contact me and have given a set of keys to some friends to hold just in case, although I've never had to 'use' this facility yet. It assumes my friends will always be home when I'm not - eg recently when I was away on holiday I found out later the friends were away for a while too; had there been an incident it would have been an emergency locksmith job!

    Under those circumstances, who would be expected to pay for the locksmith, I wonder?

    Do other LLs have a way of covering themselves against this sort of mishap?

  • #2
    The tenant would be responsible for the cost, as you keeping a spare key is not something you are obligated to do(and some may argue that you do not have a right to do either - although I would disagree with them). It is you being prudent and also helpful being available to let them in, and I would recommend any landlord do the same, but if you are not available it is still the tenants responsibility.
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


    • #3
      For emegency purposes only I always hold a set of keys to all my properties. If a tenant is daft enough to loose his keys then the cost of sorting out the problem is down to him. If he is obliged to change the locks he is required to supply me with a copy of the new key(s).

      Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


      • #4
        I live a hour's drive from my properties, and have had to go over to let tenants in in the past, and have also had one tenant break a window to get in.
        I now use the 'Big Box' keysafe in my garage near the properties to keep a set of keys for all my properties for my use, and I have a little box outside each property, located somewhere unobtrusive like by a meter box, behind a drainpipe etc. I let the tenant choose their own code for their own safe, and I set the code. Bingo! Never had a call since.


        • #5
          We have a friendly neighbour, as we used to live in the flat ourselves, and gave the tenants a spare set to leave with friends in case of this happening.

          However, if we didn't do this and they lost their keys, there's no way I'd be paying for a locksmith or new window. My question to them would be "what do you think I'd do if it happened to me?"


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