Does a landlord have to change locks between tenants? Yes. If you don’t already know, you have to change your locks at your rental property between each occupant. This doesn’t mean just rekeying the locks between each tenant. If you have a short-term rental or you have a vacation house that you live in sometimes and rent out at other times, you need to change the locks every time someone new occupies the home.

Door Locks for Rental Properties: Timing

You have seven days to change the locks when you have new occupants. Our locksmith also double checks for other property code compliance issues like keyless deadbolt locking devices and door viewers. You also need a bar or a pin lock on sliding doors. Make sure you have changed the locks before a new tenant or occupant moves in, or have it done within seven days of them taking possession of the property.

Door Locks for Rental Properties: Locksmiths

According to the Texas Property Code, the rekey has to be done by a licensed locksmith. We have some options that allow the property manager to do some of that work, but our process is to always have the rekeying done by a licensed locksmith. This is for our own liability reasons and to protect our homeowners from liability.

Door Locks for Rental Properties: Tenant Requests

If the tenant requests a rekey, the landlord has to allow that. You can allow the tenant to coordinate the rekey and get a new key from the tenant or, you can do it and charge it to the tenant. If it’s the tenant’s request, they are required to pay for the new lock. You cannot deny their request, however.

There are some other things to talk about when it comes to keys, such as lockouts for tenants who haven’t paid rent. That doesn’t apply to this topic, however.

If you have any questions about property management or how to stay in compliance with the Texas Property Code, please contact us at Austin Landmark Property Services.