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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 117438
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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Can I change the locks on my rental house (NC)but still give

Customer Question

Can I change the locks on my rental house (NC)but still give them a key? I have lost my set and they are avoiding me so that I can get a copy. They are late in rent and I've given them a 30 day notice to vacate as I am trying to sell the property. The new owner would like a key.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
It is not illegal for you to change the locks on your rental property as long as you provide the tenants with the new key and are not locking them out of the property. They cannot claim an illegal eviction if you provide them a key immediately upon changing the locks, because you are making necessary repairs and not preventing them from entering. However, a locksmith can actually go to the premises and make a key from the lock without the tenant giving you their key to do so and you may want to consider that, as it is usually easier and cheaper than changing the whole lock.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you - Do I have to give him 24 hour notice? Can I show the house without the tenant's approval? He told me that he didn't want the almost "new" owner in without him being there. I don't mind him being there - However, he is avoiding us at all costs. My letter to him stated that he needed to vacate the premises by June 15. He has been on a month to month for 2 years now and he owes me back rent. I think he is going to give me a hard time with this.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You should give 24 hour notice on all repairs, unless it is an actual emergency. When you give notice, such as posting it on the door, you need to inform him that you will be providing a new key (only if you are re-keying the lock, which I doubt is necessary if you use a locksmith to just make a key from the lock). If you are just getting a new key made, you need to give him 24 hour notice that you will be working on the premises, which is your right as a landlord.

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