Re-keying Your Rental Property
Some of our landlords have recently asked about the rules on rekeying their property, so we thought we’d take a moment to clarify the rules. You can also check over here and get advice from property valuation experts. The Texas Property Code, Section 92.151(15) requires that landlords must rekey the locks of their rental property no later than the seventh day after each tenant turnover date. When a rental property is occupied by a new tenant after the previous occupants have moved out, this move-in date is considered the tenant turnover date. One of the questions that comes up regarding this is whether or not a landlord has to rekey the locks if they were the previous occupant. The thinking is often that the landlord only had one key and since they are able to maintain a key to the rental property, they can save a few dollars by not changing the locks. This however, is a false assumption. Regardless of who occupied the property and how much a landlord insists there is only one key, the Property Code requires that the rental property be rekeyed. Think about it this way… how does the new tenant know that someone (a spouse, maid, handyman, etc.) didn’t retain a copy of the key at some point. Imagine the liability if one of those people were to use that key for nefarious purposes after a new tenant moved into the rental property. We don’t know about you, but we certainly wouldn’t want that kind of liability. So remember, hire a locksmith to change those locks on your rental properties every time. There are commercial locksmith services that may help make your rental units more secure.
If you need assistance in understanding the Texas Property Code or managing your rental properties, call us at Kimberly Howell Properties. We have several property managers available to assist you in managing your rentals and helping you stay within the law.
image courtesy of Bohman