Rekey Fee
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Rekey Fee (by Sara [FL]) Apr 13, 2019 10:08 AM
       Rekey Fee (by Busy [WI]) Apr 13, 2019 10:46 AM

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Rekey Fee (by Sara [FL]) Posted on: Apr 13, 2019 10:08 AM
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Hi!

Newish landlords here... Renting home out to second tenants. Real estate agent has suggested a re-key fee to be built into the lease, $75 (house has two doors, each with dead bolts and regular locking knob) that would be deducted from security deposit at the end of the lease along with the mandatory $150 cleaning fee. The attorney who writes up our lease (a big firm out in Pennsylvania) suggests against it. What are your thoughts?

As previous renters ourselves, we never knew if we were getting new keys or just the same keys the previous renters received.

We have mentioned this fee to the new tenants that they will have once they move out and they are totally OK with it.

Are we legally putting ourselves in a bad position, especially if we have it in the lease that is a signed contract? And mention it in email bulleted points?

--73.137.xx.xx




Rekey Fee (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Apr 13, 2019 10:46 AM
Message:

It costs me six dollars per lock to have mine rekeyed. After tenant moves out, as part of the move out procedure, I instruct them to lock the door, text me they are out and HAVE RETURNED LEGAL POSSESSION TO LANDLORD, and put key in a recycling bin, not at that house. Then I head over with a temporary bunch of deadbolts, take the ones from the house to be rekeyed, and re-install them. The place I take the locks to be rekeyed keeps a file of all the combinations on the houses, so they can be sure to not duplicate the keys.

I use only deadbolts to lock, then closet/ passage knobs to open close, thus not possible for tenants to lock themselves out of house. So, each house has three deadbolts (2 on house, one on garage,) thus $18 plus my time/ labor to rekey a house. I consider it part of the cost of maintaining a rental. But, I do charge $25 for a overhead door opener for the garage at move-in. Those get lost a lot.

Now, if a tenant wants the locks rekeyed, maybe the lost their keys, then they pay those costs. My courts are known to not like a lot of ‘landlord costs’ to be deducted from security deposits, I am thinking my area’s court commissioners/ judges might not allow a deduction for re-keying between tenants. My courts don’t allow fees for carpet cleaning, for instance. Or so I have heard, I have not tested these things myself.

I would definitely follow advice of your attorney over advice from real estate agent. BUT, I make sure my tenants know they are getting a home with re-keyed locks. As you mentioned, that gives peace of mind. During lease signing, I give the tenants one extra key, saying ‘You may give that to someone you trust, or just keep it. I rekey the locks between tenants, so no old keys are ever re-used. ‘ Do NOT say this with anyone not on the lease around, dear readers. You wouldn’t want a sketchy friend or relative to pester tenant for that key. I have NOT had this practice courts tested, so cannot say for sure if that will ever come back to bite me. So far, so good. --70.92.xxx.xxx



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