Change the lock of my property

13 Replies

Hi all,

I have a question regarding my rental property that I just bought from HUD. After the property was closed, I went on a business trip and did not have a chance to change the lock yet. When I returned from my trip, I found that HUD had removed their combo box. My contractor told me that he could just break the existing lock and install a new lock for me. Is it ok for someone to do this? Do I need locksmith or call HUD for this?

Thanks a lot for all comments!

It's easy.  Get inside the house and remove the deadbolt with a phillips head screwdriver.  They sell deadbolts at box stores or at family dollar for 5 or 10 dollars and take maybe 5 minutes to install.

@Xin Z.  

The property belongs to you ! You can do anything you want to but definitely change the locks as many people out there have HUD keys

Thanks for the advice. My problem is I could not get inside the house. HUD refused to give me the key to the house and as I understand this is their common practice. HUD told me I need to be at the house and schedule an appointment with them and their people will open the door and I can do what you suggested. The house is in the same metroplex area as I am, but it is quite far. That's why my contractor suggested that he open the door for me instead. I just want to know whether this is appropriate.

If it's inconvenient for you to meet HUD there and your contractor can't meet with HUD, he could break in but he might charge extra for it and could end up messing up the door or a window lock.

Originally posted by @Xin Z.:

Thanks for the advice. My problem is I could not get inside the house. HUD refused to give me the key to the house and as I understand this is their common practice. HUD told me I need to be at the house and schedule an appointment with them and their people will open the door and I can do what you suggested. The house is in the same metroplex area as I am, but it is quite far. That's why my contractor suggested that he open the door for me instead. I just want to know whether this is appropriate.

HUDs practice is to leave the lockbox on the home for the buyers agent to open the house for the buyer.  Agents usually leave the lockbox on for a couple days to give the buyer and their agent time to do this.  Once you close on the home you can do whatever you like to it. 

I guess I missed the time HUD gave for me and my agent to change the lock due to my trip. Now HUD told me that they could not put the lockbox back because it is my property now. They can only meet me at the house and open the door for me.

Meet them at the house and bring a screwdriver and a deadbolt.  You can find matching knob and deadbolt for $15 many times.

Ok, looks like I need to go to the house for this.  I don't feel quite comfortable for my contractor to just break the lock and get in the house.  Do you guys know if a contractor can do this legally with my permit?

@Xin Z.  I don't see anything illegal about having your contractor break into your own house.  Isn't that what you'd ask a locksmith to do if you accidentally locked yourself out of your residence?

@Andrew S.  I thought the locksmith has a special license to do their job and not sure whether any contractor could do the same thing.

As the new homeowner you can legally do as you wish with the property. If you are unable to meet with HUD your contractor can drill the lock out. It won't damage the door itself and once completed he can proceed to replace the lock with one of your choosing. This is a common practice and should be well within his capability. He should charge the same for showing up with HUD to change the locks as he would to drill the lock and change them on his own schedule. Good luck with your new purchase

Thanks everyone for your comments!  What you said makes sense to me.  I'll tell my contractor to proceed to change the lock and begin his rehab job.  

Most of the time you only need to pull a permit if an inspector condemns a property and they say you need to pull one.

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