Spare keys issue with letting agent/landlord

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    Spare keys issue with letting agent/landlord

    A year ago, our last landlord put our apartment up for sale. At the time, I gave out my spare keys (voluntarily) to help the estate agent (now our letting agent) view the apartment with prospective buyers. When the apartment was finally sold in July, I left the keys with the letting agent as it made sense for them to hang on to a spare set of keys should an emergency ever arise.

    While the apartment is in Belfast, our landlord is based in England. There are three tenants, none of whom own an entire set of "keys". There are 5 "keys" in a complete set - 2 remotes for vehicle access to complex and garage area and three "normal" keys. The spare keys I mention above are two physical keys required to gain access, on foot, to the complex and the apartment.

    Well, on Friday, I needed the spare set of keys as I found myself locked out of the apartment. I called the letting agent to arrange a time where I could call in and pick up the keys, but they claimed that there was no record of my keys in their system. I asked them to chase this up as a matter of urgency as I had no access to the apartment until one of the other tenants came back after Xmas.

    Suffice to say, the letting agent has only just called me back this morning to tell me that they handed over my spare set of keys to the landlord a few months ago (per the landlord's request) without telling me.

    While I appreciate that the landlord has a right to a set of keys to a property he owns, did the letting agent have the right to hand over a set of keys that I had paid for (without letting me know)? Should the landlord have gotten his own set cut from my spare set?

    #2
    What are you hoping to achieve or just looking to vent?
    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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      #3
      Well, the cost of getting a spare set of keys cut would be ideal. I can't see that I have a leg to stand on if the LA is in the right in handing over my spare set of keys to the LL.

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        #4
        Have you asked the agent to either replace the keys, or reimburse you for them?
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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          #5
          Not yet... I wanted to see if I had any right to ask for such a thing or if the LA was within their rights to hand over the spare keys.

          After all, if they were behaving appropriately, then I'm unlikely to get a result.

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            #6
            It's such a minor issue, I would expect them to reimburse you whether or not they had the "right" to.
            Ask. If they say "No", then come back for some advice.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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              #7
              Unfortunately, this forum deals mainly with England & Wales tenancy law, though there is a sub-forum for Scotland. You'll notice the troublesome omission - there is no Northern Ireland in that list and I have never heard any of our regular contributors express a knowledge of NI law.

              Contact http://www.housingadviceni.org/

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                #8
                Thanks all of your replies. I shall take a look at that link.

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                  #9
                  Did you tell the estate agent specifically to keep the keys?

                  Why would you expect them to not give them to the landlord? They're not an emergency key providing service, they're an estate agent.

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                    #10
                    I sort of agree with 8086. You have the right to have the key back now that you requested it. But I dont think they are liable to reimburse you because you got locked out and the key wasnt available there and then. You have the right to the key, but the loss is your responsibility.

                    I agree that it is a shame that you did something out of good will and it came back to sting.
                    All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

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                      #11
                      I'm not asking for reimbursement because the key wasn't available there and then... I'm asking for reimbursement because I now have to get another set of keys cut for emergencies.

                      When we moved into the apartment (there are three of us), there was 1 (incomplete) set of keys (including remotes) between us, so we all had to get keys cut and I made sure I had a spare set.

                      I guess it's just a matter of speaking to the LA and see what they say and hope that they're reasonable.

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