We had a callout in Balwyn this week from a tenant who wanted their locks replaced. They had not had any problems with a former flatmate or anything like that… they just wanted to ensure their home was secure as the locks had not been replaced in a long time.
We have several real estate clients in the Melbourne area who as a matter of course rekey all external locks upon a change of tenants in one of their managed rental premises. This makes good sense. You don’t want to have an unknown number of previous tenants still having access to a rental property.
Whilst this might make good sense the landlord is under no requirement to do this. The landlord has a requirement to provide keys to all external locks and the tenant chooses to change locks, they have a requirement to provide the landlord with copies of the keys to these locks but as a tenant you might find yourself in a position where the new premises you are renting has locks that have not been rekeyed from many years. Anyone who is rented the premises in the last decade may still have working keys to your home.
We suggest when leasing a property that you enquire regarding who potentially has keys for the premises. Have the locks been replaced recently and if not who still might have access to the premises. In some cases a request to your landlord to rekey locks will be received favourably but more often than not a landlord who has chosen not to rekey locks prior to you signing your lease is not that suddenly decide after the fact to do so. If that turns out to be the case we suggest you bite the bullet and get your external locks rekeyed. The cost is not huge and the peace of mind that you will achieve knowing previous tenants no longer have access to your home will be priceless.
You can go the extra mile and also get window locks and interior door locks rekeyed but this is probably not necessary as someone first has to forcibly enter the house to use such locks and if they are prepared to use such force to enter your house they are certainly prepared to use such force against your other locks once inside.
For the Balwyn job, we rekeyed the front and back door deadlocks with the same barrel so only one key was needed, and cut sufficient copies for all the flatmates as well as 2 keys to provide to the landlord. It was a quick easy job, 45 minutes from go to whoa.