The Importance Of New Locks For New Tenants

If you’re a landlord or property agent in the state of California, doubtless you’re already aware of the fact that there are precious few state laws requiring the rekeying of residential locks upon tenancy expirations. So, when the previous tenants move out, who is to say they won’t get a copy of the keys cut and keep them, giving them an easy way of getting back into the property once they’ve left? This not only puts rental properties at risk, but the new tenants, too.


Currently, California State Law seeks to address the need for the main entrance to a rental home to have an operable deadbolt lock and for all windows to be fully secure. Landlords must also ensure that the rental property doesn’t intentionally expose tenants to harm that could otherwise have been prevented, under the ‘Habitability Obligation’. However, since restricted keys are not common in the world of residential lettings, it’s virtually impossible to know whether a former tenant still has a copy of the keys and can access the property once their tenancy has expired and they’ve moved out.

So, what does all this mean for the owners and landlords of rental properties? Basically, the only way of ensuring that the property is going to be safe and secure for you and your new tenants, is to have the locks changed, and most find that the minimal cost of this option, far outweighs the potential risks.

Things to consider before replacing the locks on your rental property:

While replacing the locks isn’t something you should waste any time doing, particularly if you are expecting a new set of tenants soon, there are a few things you should give a little thought to before you reach out to your local locksmith:

  • How many locks will you need to change? Count each entrance and exit point and don’t forget garage doors too, especially if access can be gained to the property that way. Having this information ready before you call in the locksmith will help to save time.
  • What brand are the existing locks? Knowing this will again save valuable time and help your locksmith to know what locks to bring with them.
  • What are the keyholes like? Are there keyholes built into the doorknobs or perhaps there are some deadbolts? Counting them will help the locksmith prepare for the job, too.
  • Think about whether you’re satisfied with your current locks or whether you’d like to upgrade them, or simply choose a different style. Calling your locksmith in advance to discuss your options might be worthwhile, as they can advise you on the latest advances in security systems for residential properties.

Never underestimate the importance of securing your rental property if you’re a landlord or agent. Changing the locks between each new set of tenants is strongly advised, and don’t forget that locksmiths are the best people to talk to if you have any security concerns regarding your property.