Your locks are the most basic security you have in your home or apartment. As a renter, you know that the landlord technically owns the property, but you still want to feel safe.

Does your landlord have a right change the locks?

It depends on a number of factors. For example, the landlord can't do it to evict you. There is a legal eviction process, and just changing the locks while you're at work is illegal.

Check Your Rental Agreement

Your lease may also dictate what the landlord can and cannot do as far as changing the locks. It's critical to know exactly what you signed. The lease is a legally binding document that must be followed.

If the lease says nothing about changing the locks, landlords are generally advised to tell tenants in advance. There are certain security issues that may make changing the locks prudent. For instance, if a former tenant still has a set of keys, you could be in danger if the locks are not changed. That tenant has access to your home at any time, so it's not as safe and secure as you thought.

Landlord Restricting Access

Still, you always need to know what's happening and have some way to both secure and access your own residence. Ideally, the landlord should tell you in advance and give you a copy of the new key as soon as the change is made.

Landlord Negligence

Did a landlord's negligence with locks and other security measures put you in danger or violate your rights? If so, make sure you know about all of the legal options that you have, especially if you were injured as a result.