Duplicate Keys - Who's responsible

3 Replies

Hello, I was notified by a tenant that she wants another mailbox key - ie a duplicate. I gave her one key for the mailboxes and two for entry into the unit. The reason I'm resisting this is because I found out that she was having other people live with her that weren't on the lease for extended time. This particular person is now in jail the last I heard. There have been other things that I just do not trust her this point. More than likely she probably lost the mailbox key and not telling me she did, or she is having someone else picking up their mail there and using that address. To say the least she is a problem tenant.

How would you handle this?

@Jason Sand I would fire the tenant, i.e. evict or don't renew the lease. I went through this last year on my apartment building in Berwyn, IL. We inherited tenants who had been in jail multiple times and the girlfriend was on house arrest. I should have gotten rid of them immediately, but instead I was nice. This ended up turning into an eviction that took 5 months and cost thousands of dollars. If you feel the tenant is abusing things, I would immediately get rid of the tenant. 

@Jason Sand , first off, from one Landlord to another, I appreciate your post. If the tenant wanted to have another key, they would need to notify you first, but it's their responsibility to notify the postal service to get another key and they would need to pay for the key, not you. But, as you stated. If you have concrete proof that the tenant has or had other people living there at your property that are not part of the rental agreement, you should do your diligence and find out how much longer the tenant has on the lease.There are options that you can use, like, eviction process or not renewing the lease. It's also a good time to get the ball rolling, test the waters on finding a better tenant(s).

When does the lease expire? I would give notice that you are not renewing and get them out. This sounds like a tenant that would be good to get rid of.

I am not aware of the laws surrounding mailbox keys. My thought would be to find out the cost of rekeying it and charge the tenant the cost of rekeying the mailbox. Then you would not have to worry about the tenant giving a friend an extra copy and the cost may even cause the tenant to say never mind because they found their key.

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