Unfortunately, instances arise where a tenant is either no longer able or no longer willing to pay the rent. This leaves a landlord in a sticky situation.
It becomes necessary to evict the tenant(s) and start over again with (hopefully) a reliable new renter. Eviction procedures take a long – really long – time and can be highly emotional. At the end of it, many landlords are as exasperated as their evicted tenants and in turn forget to consider what the correct next step is. For the record, that next step is calling a locksmith.
Change All External Locks
One of the most important things that a landlord must do after an eviction is change the locks.
It’s good practice to change the external locks of a property any time there is a change in resident. There is no way of knowing how many additional keys have been cut for a property – due to there being no legislation calling for a record of keys that are duplicated – so even if you have the most reliable of tenants, you never know who they may have given a spare to, and who will look to gain entry.
By changing the locks you’re preventing the former tenant(s) – who may be irate and looking to do damage – from gaining access to the property. This means your property is that much safer.
This also means that your future tenants and their own belongings are safe from being tampered with by an unwanted entrant. Keep this in mind as well – some housing and contents insurance policies are voided if you don’t change the locks.
Please note: under no circumstances should you as a landlord change the locks of a property during the eviction process as a way of preventing a tenant from gaining access. This is against the law, and any professional locksmith will not even entertain the thought.
Take the Opportunity to Safeguard Your Property
Once you’ve called a locksmith to come and change your locks, make the most of the services he can provide.
Have the interior and exterior of your property security checked. This includes all doors, windows and locks, including patio doors, gate locks, and garage doors. The integrity of the lock is important to ensuring that your property is truly safe, and something a locksmith can establish with minimal effort.
If you’ve worried your property isn’t safe enough, have some extra security fitted. Today, many locksmiths are able to install electronic alarm systems as well as traditional door locks. Invest in a door chain, or additional deadbolts, or consider having a security camera system fitted. Ask about forensic security techniques that are available.
If you undertake these checks, by the time your new tenants are ready to move in, both you and they can rest assured that the property is safe and isn’t going to be visited by anybody that shouldn’t be there.