Keys to tenant space?

5 Replies

I have what I am sure is a rookie question.  Do commercial landlords have keys and alarm codes to all of their tenant spaces?

In my case, I have keys/codes for the tenants that I signed, however, I do not have access for the tenants that I inherited.  There is no problem with me showing up during business hours and I'm sure if there was an issue, I can get a hold of the tenants after hours, but should I have keys/codes to their spaces?  

I have installed cameras for all of my tenants, so there should be no worry on their end about giving me a key.

Thank you all!!!!

As a manager of net retail spaces, I was told by an attorney that I do not want to hold on to any keys for liability reasons.  If something should go missing in a tenant's space and there was no forcible entry, the tenant might look to me as a suspect.  

Some (newbie) tenants have also asked me to do favors for them, such as let in the phone guy or other things.  Since I don't have the keys, I cannot help them and just as well since I will not be able to do that for all the tenants I managed.

Being a net lease also, it's up to the tenant to take care of most everything in their unit, including getting themselves back in the unit if they lock themselves out.  They'll just have to call a locksmith to jimmy the lock.

I feel Dale is right on the money with Commercials. 

With both Residential & Commercial, I write into the lease/rentalagreement that it is the tenant's responsibility to promptly file a copy of the key of any additional or replacement locks the install to allow for emergency access.

 In reality, tenants nowadays have their private stashes of stuff they will stock into one room/closet and change the lock and never file the key. With commercial, its usually all new locks/codes they install as their 'stock' is often everywhere. With residential its usually just one room/closet the change/add a lock to and never give a key for, and I don't find out till moveout inspection usually anyway in both scenarios, so its mostly their liability as they failed to comply with the responsibility of supplying keys let alone notifying of key change.

Indeed in a weird way its worked out better that way because I get alot less service requests related to lock issues where the tenants turned out to have changed some/all their locks, than the tenants who didnt touch a lock/code. The latter always expected that if they lose a key or code we'd get them back in, no big deal and it happened quite often. 

Thank you @Neil G. and @Dale Shin .  I wondered this for years so its refreshing to hear I am not doing something out of line.  

We have a commercial building with businesses and doctors' offices. We supply the locks on the main doors and we have access through a building pass key. The tenant can install (at their expense), a keyless entry system, but we must have an access code that works 24/7. If one tenant smells smoke in another office and no one is in that office, you bet we will go in to see if we can avoid a catastrophe for us and/or the tenants. I think it's nuts not to have access to a multi-tenant commercial building. Keep in mind, we are not NNN. Ash, when we bought our building, I didn't have keys either, but they all graciously gave us copies without question.

I always retain keys to our commercial buildings. A couple of years ago we thought we had a major gas leak in our strip center and called the fire department. Fortunately I had keys to the units or they would have broke the glass to gain entry.
I had a Chineese restaurant that moved out of a unit and never returned their key. Once again I was glad that I had a key or I would of had to pay a locksmith to get into the unit.

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