If you are the owner of one or more rental properties, you probably know that it can be a tough business. Your tenants rely on you for securing their property, fixing things that aren't working, and generally keeping them in comfort. On the other hand, you never know what type of renter you'll have in your property, and an irresponsible one could mean any number of problems for you, from property damage to non-payment of rent that requires an eviction. If you own and rent out properties, here are just a few reasons why you need to keep the number of a reputable locksmith on hand at all times.
Your tenants' security is important
As a landlord, you should assume some level of responsibility for your tenants' security. In fact, in most states, landlords have a legal obligation to protect their tenants from crime while they are living in a rental property. If you don't take the appropriate security measures to keep your tenants safe, they could even sue you.
How can you ensure that your rental properties are secure enough to keep your tenants safe? Get a locksmith to perform a security audit before any new tenant moves in. By checking for any busted locks or other damaged security features, you can have them repaired before your next tenant uses the property.
You need to be able to access the property
As a landlord, there will be times that you'll need to gain access to the rental properties when your tenants aren't there. For example, if you use a pest control service or need to complete property repairs for your tenants. Depending on the type of property you have, you may need a master key to open the locked doors of your tenants. This allows you to gain access to several properties with one single key, saving you a lot of hassle.
There is one drawback with using a master key system, and that is the fact that if your key is misplaced or stolen, all of the properties that it unlocks are vulnerable. A locksmith can also offer you the option of installing keypad entry systems or pass cards in order to gain access to the property. This also allows you to change the locks more easily, since you only need to have each code changed, rather than having the entire lock re-keyed.
Evictions and new tenants require new locks
Whether you have one property or a whole building full of apartments to secure, as a landlord, you'll need to ensure that people who aren't supposed to have access to the property can't get in. Evictions can be stressful for both parties, but an angry ex-tenant with a key can be a huge liability for you. Any time you have to evict someone, the first thing you need to do is consult with your locksmith to have the lock re-keyed in order to prevent the old tenant from getting back into the property.
Even if your tenants leave on good terms and happily hand over their keys, you need to have the locks changed on your rental property. This will help ensure that your new tenant is safe and secure, and that anyone with a copy of the old key can't gain access to the property.
Your office needs to be kept secure
As a landlord, it's your responsibility to keep copies of the keys used to access your properties in a secure location. You also may have personal information about each tenant on their rental agreement, and that information should also be kept secure. A locksmith can help you ensure that your office is completely secure by adding locks to your external doors and even ensuring that your filing cabinets lock properly.
Security and tenant safety are two of the main responsibilities of any landlord, and a good locksmith can help you live up to these responsibilities. If you don't already have a reputable locksmith's number on hand, you definitely want to find one. You'll make your job a little easier, and help your tenants feel more secure in your rental properties.