Do you have a key to your tenant's storage room?

9 Replies

I'm currently updating keyed door knobs throughout my unit and I wondered, on the basement storage area should I put a keyed knob or a standard knob and allow the tenant to use a padlock.  I'm believing just as I have keys to their unit, I should also have keys to the storage so I can include in my random/routine inspection.  Yes?

padlocks are easy to cut off if you have too and less liability of them saying you took something, just my thought

@Jeremy Tillotson  Is that your concern when doing inspections or entry when the tenant isn't home?

@Arthur Banks  No I do inspections every 6 months and provide notice, whether home or not we do it. It just seems I have had more issues with tenants saying something came missing from storage over the years. I think sometimes honest people misplaced things when moving, but if you have a key they may assume, less hassle for me, actually we did away with storage closets altogether. 

We have keys to the storage units.  We provide heavy duty padlocks and we keep one of the keys.  We, like you, think we should have access to everything the tenant does.  We don't inspect the storage units; we only would if a neighbor reports suspicious activity.  Our storage units are outdoors, int he alley, and get broken into a lot.  We encourage new applicants/tenants to talk to their neighbors about safety and crime issues.  But, I digress.

Thanks.  The storage rooms in my unit are in the basement/laundry area. I think there should be no need to inspect the storage unless some funny business is going on. There aren't any areas of concern (plumbing, etc.) that need to be constantly monitored.

You should have ALL keys, not just the unit but also the storage area.

If you do have keys, make darn sure you change the locks between tenants.

If it is a storage room and integral to the building, then yes put a keyed door knob on it. If it is a storage shed outside then let the tenant put their own padlock on it. 

Brings to mind the dilemma of what to do when tenants padlock the gate to the patio area or backyard. We have traditionally maintained the keyed door knobs and keys for dwelling units and storage rooms, but have not needed to have a key to the storage sheds or gates. In an emergency, those padlocks can be cut off. Also, there is always an entry to the patios and backyard through the house.

When a tenant changes a door knob or adds a padlock to a room, it is a red flag something is going on that shouldn't be going on and we will gain entry one way or another. We start by asking the tenant to open the door. If they refuse, then we serve a legal "notice to enter." Our legal "notice to enter" states we can have a locksmith assist us if necessary and charge the tenant for the locksmith service.

I don't see the need for the landlord to have a key to a storage room.

What's the point? What could they really be doing with their storage room?

Growing drugs?

If it came down to it & you NEEDED to get in there for some emergency you could easily cut off the lock.

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