Keeping it all under lock and key!
You have got your property let out and you are on your way to do your usual inspection and make sure that everything is as you would expect. You park up and walk to the front door and try the key… It is at this point you realise the locks have been changed, your keys do not work and you are somewhat confused?
This is by no means the norm but can be especially in cases where an eviction is taking place or has been on the agenda for a while with the tenant.
Most of the time you do not need to worry about the tenant changing the locks as the tenancy agreement would cover that element off and any breach of that would mean the tenancy itself was being breached. Building a good relationship with tenants and keeping good communication will reduce the chances of any surprises, if you do find yourself in a situation where the locks have been changed, take a moment to review and work with the tenant before taking action to understand what the motivation was?
Accidents and one-off events can happen to anyone and being a landlord, you should be aware that someone could be you one day – lost keys? Landlord on holiday? What do you do? Take a moment to step back before any action occurs, you might just find there is a perfectly good reason as to why the locks could have been changed. Tenants will want to feel safe in your property and if you are not there to help/ move fast enough you can expect the tenant to take matters into their own hands.
With Lofti you can rely on the maintenance management feature which allows your tenants to communicate and keep you in the loop with anything that might crop up – this gives the tenant the security of knowing an issue has been raised in a dedicated channel and environment and not a message that is lost somewhere within the realms of your phone or worse, your overflowing email inbox!
To make things even easier you will have your dedicated contractor available on the platform to assign any tasks that require a professional and if that wasn’t enough, if they are unable to accommodate a late-night lockout you can explore the Lofti contractor network of vetted professionals to help assist!
In the case that you do have a tenant who has changed the locks without good cause and is refusing to allow you entry into the property for a scheduled visit or inspection then you are well within your rights to explore options that are available. Evictions are not enjoyable processes but sometimes become necessary when there is a serious breach of the tenancy agreement.
Make sure you checkout Welcome to GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) for more information and make good use of the support and material available on the NRLA – Join the National Residential Landlords Association | NRLA
Remember, keep communication as a priority with your tenants and remember that they will want to know that you respect their privacy and inform them of any visits well ahead of time – no one likes a surprise visit?!