Letting Agent has Lost Keys

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    Letting Agent has Lost Keys

    Our tenants have reported that our letting agents have lost their set of keys. They are very worried about the security risk and imagine the last contractor has them. Even if this is the case and they manage to retrieve them we think the locks should be changed at the agent's expense.


    Can anyone let us know our rights.

    Many thanks.

    #2
    As a letting agent I have lost keys (or possibly mislabelled) and have asked the tenant for a copy at my cost. Its bad.

    If the tenant is worried about "security risk" then presumably the agent is morally responsible for replacing the locks. I doubt theirs anything in the agreements discussing this.

    I would ask the Letting Agent to find the keys and see if it was the "last contractor" and therefore a "risk" or perhaps mislabelled and "no risk".

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you.

      We've since been told that the keys have disappeared from the office in the last few days i.e. since a contractor has had and returned them. They seem unsure whether they've got lost, taken or their tag has come off such that they can't be identified. I would probably hope that they haven't been stolen but I understand the tenants wish to have the locks changed as who knows whether this is the true story.

      I can't understand why they don't use cable tie type tags which can't come off.

      I probably just have to insist that they organise for the locks' replacement.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jicms View Post
        Our tenants have reported that our letting agents have lost their set of keys. They are very worried about the security risk and imagine the last contractor has them. Even if this is the case and they manage to retrieve them we think the locks should be changed at the agent's expense. Can anyone let us know our rights. Many thanks.
        The agent has a common law duty of care so that any keys that go missing would entitle the tenant to an immediate replacement lock and keys at the agent's expense. The tenant's remedy is to have it done themselves if the agent fails to undertake this task within 24 hours I would say, and to deduct it from the rent.
        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

        Comment


          #5
          Easiest solution (and cheapest) should be that LA pops round in morning with barrel for locks affected and spend five/ten minutes doing something useful with their day ?
          I'm a good tenant with great landlords
          I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

          Comment


            #6
            Keys should not of course be labelled with a property's address.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Brb View Post
              Easiest solution (and cheapest) should be that LA pops round in morning with barrel for locks affected and spend five/ten minutes doing something useful with their day ?
              I don't think there's a chance in hell of this happening! They're still insisting they's only been mislaid not lost!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                The agent has a common law duty of care so that any keys that go missing would entitle the tenant to an immediate replacement lock and keys at the agent's expense. The tenant's remedy is to have it done themselves if the agent fails to undertake this task within 24 hours I would say, and to deduct it from the rent.
                Problem with this is that we'll receive the reduced rent and is it legal in any case? Might affect the tenants' credit rating.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I am a letting agent, and if I lost a set of unlabelled keys by dropping them in the english channel, I would not be replacing the locks if a tenant said that they were "entitled to an immediate replacement".

                  I would ask them to show me how they were "entitled".
                  Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                    I am a letting agent, and if I lost a set of unlabelled keys by dropping them in the english channel, I would not be replacing the locks if a tenant said that they were "entitled to an immediate replacement".

                    I would ask them to show me how they were "entitled".
                    In that scenario, there would obviously be no discernable risk. However, when one doesn't know that the keys are at the bottom of the sea, one can not know how severe the risk is.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                      In that scenario, there would obviously be no discernable risk. However, when one doesn't know that the keys are at the bottom of the sea, one can not know how severe the risk is.
                      I agree, but all of that is irrelevant if the tenant is "entitled" to a change of locks.
                      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                        I agree, but all of that is irrelevant if the tenant is "entitled" to a change of locks.
                        It would probably come under the tenant security requirements of HHSRS.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          IF unlabelled keys are at bottom of the sea then no I wouldn't feel insecure in my accomodation.

                          LA giving out keys to contractor, whom I presume has also been given address then no, I would not feel secure in my home anymore.

                          I would actually like to know why LAs give keys to contractors anyway. I do not know of any owner occupiers that would even consider doing this so why are Ts expected to allow every tom, dick and harry unfettered access to their homes ?

                          Local LA label keys with address.
                          I'm a good tenant with great landlords
                          I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                            In that scenario, there would obviously be no discernable risk. However, when one doesn't know that the keys are at the bottom of the sea, one can not know how severe the risk is.
                            Exactly. If the agent can't find them in the office they can't guarantee they've not been taken. Therefore the tenants are reasonable to feel vulnerable.

                            As both us as landlords and our tenants put pressure on the agent they've now agreed to replace the locks. We got there in the end.

                            Many thanks for all the advice.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                              I am a letting agent, and if I lost a set of unlabelled keys by dropping them in the english channel, I would not be replacing the locks if a tenant said that they were "entitled to an immediate replacement".

                              I would ask them to show me how they were "entitled".
                              That does not surprise me, but nor does it mean that you are right. If you lose something you've been entrusted with you have an obligation to replace it.
                              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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