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Landlords: When You Should Be Replacing The Locks on Your Rental Property

Your rental property should be a safe place, especially for new tenants. That's why as a landlord, you have to take the necessary precautions in order to ensure that you'll be able to keep the unwanted visitors at bay. Although the crime rate in Seattle is pretty low, it's always a good move to secure everything. You also have to consider that the locks on your property's exterior doors are usually the only part that prohibits home invasions, robberies, and other domestic issues that could happen an unwelcome guest visits. That is why changing the locks every now and then should be one of the safety measures for you to consider, and here are some of the most common instances where changing locks is necessary.

5 Situations Where Changing Your Locks is Necessary

1. After Experiencing a Break In
If your rental property has encountered a break in recently then it's very important that you change your locks as soon as possible. It doesn't matter how the perpetrators managed to get in, the fact that they did, there's the probability that they were able to obtain a key that allowed them to easily enter your rental property. Replacing the locks on the exterior doors throughout the establishment would reduce the risks of having burglars walking right into your front door and stealing your valuable items again. Of course, it's also crucial that you file a police report following the event.

2. After Your Previous Tenant Leaves
There's no doubt that owning a rental property is one of the best ways to generate passive income in Seattle. However, it can also be an undertaking. When a tenant vacates-- even those who have a clean background check, it's always a smart idea to have the locks replaced after their departure. This would prevent them from coming back and invading the house. Likewise, even when your evicted tenant has returned the original keys, this doesn't give you the assurance that they don't have a duplicate of it. Make sure that you and your future tenants remain safe. Change your locks before the new tenants move in.

3. Damaged and/or Worn Locks
It's important that you regularly inspect the locks of your rental properties to see the early signs of damage and wear. Wherein, if keys can easily be wiggled in the lock hole, then it's a reason for you to assume that the internals are probably failing by now. Aside from that, don't forget to check if there is any rust accumulation on the exterior locks. If there is too much rust it could also damage the locking mechanism of your door. Try to shake the door handles as well-- a good lock won't easily get unlocked even when you keep on doing this, and lastly, if the doors can be unlocked even without the keys, then that obviously means it has to be replaced.

4. Stolen or Lost Keys
Sometimes, your tenants can be irresponsible and lose their keys. In the case that one of your tenants has reported that their house key has been stolen or lost then you have to replace or re-key the locks. As a landlord, you have to figure out which keys have gotten lost, and replace them in order to keep the security of your property. Once the outdoor area is fully secured, then you can proceed with replacing the inner locks for personal security purposes.

If your tenant has a habit of losing their keys on a regular basis, then you should probably consider the use of combination door locks. These locks don't require the use of keys, and they simply have to input the correct code into the lock. Likewise, a lot of combination locks also have a keyed lock that serves as its backup. Make sure that you change the combination every now and then, especially when you think it has gotten compromised.

5. New Tenant Moving In
If you're renting out your property, you really have to protect yourself by replacing the locks or rekeying every time someone moves in. This would give you the peace of mind you need, as you'll have the guarantee that the locks are secure and well-protected.

Final Words
As a landlord, it's your priority to keep your tenants safe and secure at all times. By replacing the locks whenever it's needed, you'll be giving them the confidence that no one would be able to illegally invade their privacy while they are in your property.

Guest Post Submitted by T-Square Properties, a local property management company. You can visit their website here.

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