Locks, Keys and Liabilities

Ok, I'm pretty new to this business but have quite a bit of experience in organizational management, policy and procedure development, etc.  I came on board and have been working with the owner to try to assess and evaluate everything we are doing here to get to maximum efficiency and effectiveness.  So here's a situation.  Past practice has been to require a cylinder lock on the unit which is given with the deposit. The lease states only one lock on the unit though they have allowed many to use secondary padlocks as well.  The lease also states we may enter the unit for any reason necessary...not that we do or want to but if there is a reason to like an emergency or suspicion of illegal activity or lese violations, etc., we can and will cut locks or drill out.   Past practice has also been to give the cylinder lock with 2 keys and a 3rd key was kept in the office for emergencies.  All of this was very inconsistent, we have some keys but not others, some units have cylinder locks, some don't, some have multiple locks, others don't.  As we try to figure out the best policy for locks, keys and liabilities; what are some of your SOP's in this area.  We are leaning towards requiring a cylinder lock but giving the tenant all 3 keys to relieve the business of the liability of having keys to units or in office.  If we need to cut in, additional locks will also be cut but all responsibility and liability is on tenant  (unless it is a maintenance issue or something the company has to do...then we will replace the cylinder lock).  What are your thoughts or practices in this area?


  • ESS
    ESS Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    We do not keep anyone's key on file unless they sign an authorization to keep it on file along with the reason of keeping it on file. Tenant's are to provide their own locks or they can purchase a new one from us. Our lease states only one lock per unit and if I find a unit double locked, my lease allows me to charge a lock cut fee and cut if off. I do send out a notice first giving them 10 days to remove the second lock and call them. You want your property to be as uniform as possible (this also limits the "well he has 2 locks why can't I" mentality. Say what you mean and mean what you say so you don't have tenants testing you. Welcome to the business!
  • MamaDuke7
    MamaDuke7 Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    Exactly what @ESS said.  But if you're using cylinder locks, I would just include the cost of the lock in your Admin Fee.
  • Nazpastortony
    Nazpastortony Registered User ✭✭
    ESS and MamaDuke7, thank you.  That seems in line with what I thought would be best practice policies.  Policies and practices have been kind of all over the place here.  We are trying to tighten it all up and get the place uniform and under control.  Thank you for your input it will be helpful as I continue to meet with the owner.
  • MrFugate
    MrFugate Registered User ✭✭✭
    In the past Public changed their doors to require a cylinder lock , The customer paid for the lock & got to take it with them when they moved out. At my property we sell disc locks to our customers it's theirs to keep. The Admin fee should just be that to cover Admin cost.

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