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Before a new tenant moves in, it is in your best interest as a land lord to change the locks. This insures peace of mind for both the land lord and the new tenants upon arrival that the old tenants no longer have access to the rental unit.
A great solution for an apartment set up is a master key system.
With this type of system the landlord has a master key that can unlock any one of the apartments. This eliminates have to have all the keys on hand, one key unlocks every door in the building. The tenants only have access to a key that unlocks their specific lock. Once this system is set up, landlords can save on lock costs by rotating locks throughout the building when a tenant moves out. It requires two to three extra locks to make the system work properly. If you have 20 units on the premises, make sure that you have at least 23 locks available for rotation. The only thing that has to be replaced with this system is the internal locking mechanism, not the entire lockset including the handle/knob and the latch.
Note that it is still the tenants responsibility to make arrangements to turn in their existing key to their particular rental unit. This also includes access to security related items such as garage door openers and security access cards. Before changing any locks landlords should also conduct a final inspection to make sure that all of the tenants belongings/property has been removed from the unit.
Changing the locks is not law, but it is important for good insurance coverage. Risk management is key to tenant/landlord relationships.
This system is cost effective and provides security throughout the entire building while giving the superintendent easy access to every lockset on the premises.