In the previous blogs we looked at the dos and don’ts of gaining access to your property and how it can affect things between you and your tenants. Now it’s time to consider how to handle certain changes they might make to the property.
While the tenants are living in the property, paying rent and abiding by the tenancy agreement, they are entitled to make certain changes or adjustments to the property.
One such alteration they might choose to make is that of changing the locks. It might seem unnerving at first to learn that your tenants have changed the locks to the property, effectively denying you access. However, there isn’t much you can do it about so it’s best to take it in your stride. They are still the tenant and you are still the landlord, so nothing has really changed. You weren’t allowed to gain access to the property uninvited or without their consent when you had keys to the locks, so the fact that you can’t physically enter the property now is a moot point.
You could choose to charge them for new locks when their contract ends and deduct it from their security deposit, but unless they fail to hand in the keys, there isn’t really much point in doing this.
However, if the reason they decided to change the locks was because you entered the property without their permission then they were justified in their actions, and you are not entitled to any compensation.
If your tenants do decide to change the locks, for whatever reason, try to remain as professional as possible and avoid doing anything to start a chain of events that could jeopardise your relationship with them. It will only leave you in an even worse position: having tenants who don’t like you while you still don’t have access to the property. Don’t take it personally and continue being a good landlord.
In the next email I will share with you some tips on how to gain access to your property, and when you are within your rights to do so, so make sure you read it in full.
This nearly covers the topic of how best to manage the tenancy period, after that it will be time to look at how to go about ending the tenancy in the right way.