What Can a Landlord Do if an Eviction Occurs and the Tenant Keeps the Keys?
No landlord enjoys an eviction, but sometimes it just needs to be done.
If rent is not being paid, or the complaints by neighbors and police start, or if there is property damage, eviction is unavoidable. Tenants become very emotional and many times spiteful during an eviction, and that leads to them walking off with the keys many times, and not even leaving a forwarding address. Landlords can find that they not only cannot recover the overdue rent or sue for property damages, but they cannot even get into the property!
A 24/7 mobile locksmith is a priority in evictions.
There is no time to waste in an eviction. It is standard procedure to change the locks immediately even if a tenant leaves on good terms. Chances are there are many duplicate keys now floating around, and no landlord can take a chance with new tenants’ safety. The locks do need to be changed ASAP. A complete change out of locks may not be necessary if the locks are newer and more secure. Then a simple rekeying will be enough. But time is of the essence with eviction even if a new tenant is waiting.
Planning the services of a 24/7 locksmith with experience is necessary.
Do not wait until the day of eviction. It is wise to find and contact a mobile locksmith with 24/7 availability. It is not unusual in evictions for even good tenants to just flee without notice before the day of eviction, so a locksmith might be needed sooner than a landlord expects. The need to have someone with a great deal of locksmithing ability even in the dead of night to call and come out on short notice is one part of the process that all landlords should consider.
Although rekeying is cheaper, whole lock changes can be safer.
Rekeying simply resets the size of the pins in each lock and is not as expensive as changing all the locks. However, if locks are old and rundown, then a change of locks is the safest method. Older, decrepit locks can be torn off or knocked off easily. Landlords do need to put the safety of new tenants first, not the price. Angry or emotional tenants can do many things and knocking an entire lock off doorways is not unheard of.
A consultation with an experienced locksmith close to the property is necessary.
Landlords do not always live close to the properties they rent. It is necessary to find an experienced locksmith close by each property they own. So any locksmith chosen should be one with many locations. Being a landlord is a business and preparation for evictions, does include having the contact information of a locksmith near each property. Landlords have a responsibility to keep properties safe and part of the safety measure is ensuring that locks are changed or rekeyed each time a tenant moves or is evicted.