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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33716
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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Can a tenant change the locks on a door when the

Customer Question

Can a tenant change the locks on a door when the landlord/owner lives in the same home.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney whowill try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Can you tell me what state this is in?

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Is the tenant refusing to give the landlord a key?

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Is there anything in the lease that says the tenant can't change the locks?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
State California,
Yes tenant is refusing to give a key.Nothing states that they can change a lock
Expert:  barristerinky replied 2 months ago.

Ok, as a general rule, the landlord has the right to have access to any portion of the rented premises in the even of some type of emergency. So if the tenant won't provide a key, that presents a risk to the safety of the entire dwelling, especially in the event of a fire.

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So even if the lease doesn't say a tenant can't change the locks (and it always should) they can change the lock, but would have to give the landlord a key for emergency access purposes.

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If the tenant won't provide a key, that would be grounds for eviction and for holding the tenant liable for the cost of replacing the lock and for any damages for the installation..

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister