Tenant changed locks - 24 hr notice to change back?

13 Replies

Our TFH (tenant from hell) has received her 7 days to vacate. When those expire we will be filing a forcible entry and detainer. In the meantime, the peach has switched out the doorknob lock and we can’t enter the unit in case of an emergency. Our lawyer said if we switch out the lock, we have to leave her a key until her 7 days expires. But, I need to be able to enter in case of an emergency. If I am going to remove her doorknob that I don’t have keys to, and put a plain ole doorknob there, do I need to post a 24 hour notice to enter the premises? Or do I have a legal right to un-alter the premises? She has also added a lock right inside the door that I’d like to rip off. And on the bedroom door as well. She is the worst. Any insight? I don’t want to bug our lawyer on Labor Day.

@Jessica Wood

If it's a standard ten-buck doorknob made by Defiant or Kwikset or Schlage or pretty much any other major American manufacturer, there's a very simple solution if you ever really do need entry, if there ever really IS an emergency. Get a cordless drill and a set of drill bits. Google "drill out a lock."

So you do have the capability to enter in the case of an emergency -- you just have to have to destroy a $10 lock to do it. Don't use it unless you have to. Stay the course of the eviction, follow the letter of the law. This is not about who has the power and the control. You want this done with the minimal fuss possible. Get your emotions out of it. Stifle any and all feelings of "I'd like to..." that might lead to escalating conflict.

Originally posted by @Jim K. :

@Jessica Wood

If it's a standard ten-buck doorknob made by Defiant or Kwikset or Schlage or pretty much any other major American manufacturer, there's a very simple solution if you ever really do need entry, if there ever really IS an emergency. Get a cordless drill and a set of drill bits. Google "drill out a lock."

So you do have the capability to enter in the case of an emergency -- you just have to have to destroy a $10 lock to do it. Don't use it unless you have to. Stay the course of the eviction, follow the letter of the law. This is not about who has the power and the control. You want this done with the minimal fuss possible. Get your emotions out of it. Stifle any and all feelings of "I'd like to..." that might lead to escalating conflict.

 You’re right. You’re 100% right. 

I would have to say if they changed the lock and they have 7 days to vacate , they dont plan to move any time soon .  I heard of this thru a friend who had something similar go on , he cut the head off a old quickset key , put some crazy glue on it and shoved it in the lock . 

@Jessica Wood

Good luck, Jessica. I know it's a pain, and I suspect most people in your immediate circle probably have trouble understanding how personally insulting the entire process is.

@Jessica Wood stop sweating the small stuff. If there is an emergency, break in and charge the tenant. Wait until they are gone and change the locks then. You won't do anything but exacerbate the problem by changing them now.
Originally posted by @Jim K. :

@Jessica Wood

Good luck, Jessica. I know it's a pain, and I suspect most people in your immediate circle probably have trouble understanding how personally insulting the entire process is.

 It truly is insulting. We installed a security camera and she’s flipped us the bird twice today. Meanwhile, she is living for free. 

I agree with many others. This sounds like one of those situations that is so frustrating, and unfair that it boils your skin! However. And it’s a big however, in the big picture, this is a speed bump. Get them out and move on. You can do this! You will sleep well st night knowing you are playing by the rules and being the bigger person. It’s going to be tough and frustrating for the next few days/weeks/months, but when it’s done it will be in the past and you will have learned a ton! Hang in there and let us all be encouraging as you go through this!

Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I noticed in your message that you did say “on her way out”. I’m taking that to mean she is gone (minus the gift she left behind)? It sounds like things can now start to improve. 

You acted like an adult, and she acted, well; like a dog.

Originally posted by @Jessica Wood :
@Dave Carpenter - well, we played by the rules and she peed and pooped in the hallway on the way out. We haven’t entered the unit yet....wish us luck tomrorow
.

 Nothing we say can make the situation better, but I really am sorry to hear that.  Prayer for you guys and that she is gone for good.