Who pays for locks - landlord or tenant?

12 Replies

Who pays for the lock if tenants continue to keep breaking the lock?  Our family has a duplex, and the lock on the security gate has been fixed and broken several times.  Tenants point fingers at each other and neither take responsibility for breaking the lock.   Can we have the tenants split the cost of any future repairs or do we even bother fixing the security gate at all?  Front doors of both units have working dead bolts.  There is nothing in the lease that says the tenant needs to pay for a broken lock.

Your responsibility.  Any theories why that lock keeps on breaking?  Buy a more durable lock?  Do you need a door closer installed?

Have no idea why it keeps breaking.  Should we even bother fixing it?  Are we legally required to fix the security gate as the locks to the front doors of both units are working fine?

The lease may not say anything about tenants paying for locks but......their should be some type of language within the lease that may define that action as breaking the lease; such as "destroying the property."

I'm not saying to go ahead and evict but you can possibly use that "language" (if it exists) to scare the tenants into not doing it anymore. If it continues get them out. 

All in all...it's the landlords responsibility.

Bruce,

Anytime you get into locks, windows, etc.... it becomes more of a security issue and you don’t want that liability on you if there is a problem with a break in etc... take care of the lock and move on. Next time make it a tenant repair in your lease agreement 

Originally posted by @Bruce Chang :

Who pays for the lock if tenants continue to keep breaking the lock?  Our family has a duplex, and the lock on the security gate has been fixed and broken several times.  Tenants point fingers at each other and neither take responsibility for breaking the lock.   Can we have the tenants split the cost of any future repairs or do we even bother fixing the security gate at all?  Front doors of both units have working dead bolts.  There is nothing in the lease that says the tenant needs to pay for a broken lock.

 When you say security gate what do you specifically mean? Can you post a photo?

If this is a security gate lock to the property you can opt to remove the service and see what you hear back. Basically notice them that you have repaired this lock x times and future repair costs will be. a) be split between or b) lock will no longer be repaired. This lock obviously isnt working for them!

If the security gate is a gate to get into the yard, do you need a lock?  If it is a gate to a common entry into the house itself and then the entry for both of the duplexes is off of that (like a common entry to an apartment complex), they you need to replace the lock to protect the house itself.

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Yes, the gate is a common entry area to a set of stairs which leads to the two units. I'm inclined to not fix the gate as it's been broken so many times.  Also, I just checked and our local rent control board does not allow us to charge the tenant for repairs unless we can prove the lock was broken by the tenant.  Since neither tenant will fess up to breaking it, I'm not sure if it's worth it to fix it again.  Local ordinance says that we are required to have deadbolts on the front door(which we do), but doesn't say anything about security gates.  Thoughts?

Originally posted by @Bruce Chang :

Yes, the gate is a common entry area to a set of stairs which leads to the two units. I'm inclined to not fix the gate as it's been broken so many times.  Also, I just checked and our local rent control board does not allow us to charge the tenant for repairs unless we can prove the lock was broken by the tenant.  Since neither tenant will fess up to breaking it, I'm not sure if it's worth it to fix it again.  Local ordinance says that we are required to have deadbolts on the front door(which we do), but doesn't say anything about security gates.  Thoughts?

 There's no requirement to provide a security gate on an exterior entrance. Tell the tenants you can't afford to keep replacing it so it's no longer functioning and they will have to live without it.

I would stop fixing it at this point, but if you do want to fix it I would cover the cost as the landlord. 

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