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    • JohnnyZee
    • By JohnnyZee 4th Oct 17, 5:34 PM
    • 25Posts
    • 1Thanks
    JohnnyZee
    Landlord being an idiot
    • #1
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:34 PM
    Landlord being an idiot 4th Oct 17 at 5:34 PM
    My friends have recently moved into a new flat. However, one of them has lost their keys for the flat (total set: 3 keys). 2 out of 3 keys are protected, so they need the landlord's permission to get an extra set. However, the landlord is being paranoid and wants to change the locks at the tenant's expense. There are 3 locks (1 lock on communal door, 2 locks on flat door).

    Landlord wants to change 1 lock, and duplicate keys for the 2 other locks (he is asking for £148 in total - wow!! He will also add another £90 if he cannot fit the lock himself). He will then see later if he wants to change other locks. Is this even ethical? I know in the tenancy agreement, there was a clause that the tenant would pay "reasonable" costs associated with replacing keys and/or locks. But since when did tenants pay for changing locks completely? And not even normal locks, he wants to buy some fancy "EVA" brand. Do tenants have no rights/or say in this matter?

    I have a feeling landlord is trying to take advantage of the tenants as they don't know much about locks.

    Any advice on what should be done?
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 4th Oct 17, 5:48 PM
    • 41,422 Posts
    • 47,762 Thanks
    G_M
    • #2
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:48 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:48 PM
    If a tenant has lost 3 keys to 3 locks, and some of those keys are for the building as well as the flat, then it is perfectly reasonable for the LL to change the locks.

    Anyone could now have those keys and gain access to any part of the building.

    It is also reasonable to replace the locks with ones of similar quality - not just the cheapest - what are the existing locks?

    What does 'protected' mean?

    As for the prices, they may be excessive, it's hard to know without looking at the locks? Why not ask a locksmiths shop what similar locks cost?

    An additional £80 for a call-out for a locksmith to do the work is about right.
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 4th Oct 17, 5:49 PM
    • 3,748 Posts
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    DaftyDuck
    • #3
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:49 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:49 PM
    If a communal key has been lost, I would at least consider changing that lock. I would also wish the lock to the flat being changed. Some secure locks are difficult to part-replace (unlike Yale, etc.) so will be costly.

    Evva locks are quite possibly like the former. It also sounds like the landlord is not charging you for his time, if he is able to do the work himself.

    When do tenants pay for lock changes? When they carelessly lose the keys, including to a communal door, that's when!
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 4th Oct 17, 5:54 PM
    • 833 Posts
    • 547 Thanks
    saajan_12
    • #4
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:54 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:54 PM
    I have no idea if those numbers are reasonable costs for purchasing and fitting THOSE kind of locks but in principle yes it's fair.

    1- This is the purpose of protected locks - the LL knows exactly how many keys are out there and who has them, so if a set is missing then it's reasonable to change the locks.

    2- The replacement locks should be to the same standard / quality as the old ones. Were the old ones EVA / comparable cost?

    3- It is the tenant's fault for losing the keys so they should pay any costs.
    • JohnnyZee
    • By JohnnyZee 4th Oct 17, 5:58 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    JohnnyZee
    • #5
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:58 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:58 PM
    Thanks guys.
    'Protected' keys are those you cannot copy without a master code (it is on some card).

    The communal door serves only 2 flats. My friends live in a converted house. I understand that it is a bit irresponsible to lose a set of keys but you cannot let the tenant bear the full cost. I am not sure what brand the current locks are, but wouldn't it be fair for the tenants to pay only part of the cost? The lock is going to outlast the tenancy agreement. So why should the tenant pay for the full price of a new lock (not even some deteriorated one)!
    • JohnnyZee
    • By JohnnyZee 4th Oct 17, 6:01 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    JohnnyZee
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:01 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:01 PM
    Also, the keys are not identifiable and hence you cannot trace them back to the flat. So how will someone know where you live if they found the keys on the street? We are talking about busy, busy London!!
    • barbiedoll
    • By barbiedoll 4th Oct 17, 6:06 PM
    • 4,780 Posts
    • 13,148 Thanks
    barbiedoll
    • #7
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:06 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:06 PM
    Thanks guys.
    'Protected' keys are those you cannot copy without a master code (it is on some card).

    The communal door serves only 2 flats. My friends live in a converted house. I understand that it is a bit irresponsible to lose a set of keys but you cannot let the tenant bear the full cost. I am not sure what brand the current locks are, but wouldn't it be fair for the tenants to pay only part of the cost? The lock is going to outlast the tenancy agreement. So why should the tenant pay for the full price of a new lock (not even some deteriorated one)!
    Originally posted by JohnnyZee
    Don't be silly....of course the tenants should pay if they lose their keys! Why should the landlord or any other tenants pay for their mistake?

    I suspect most locks would "outlast the tenancy", what has that got to do with anything?
    "I may be many things but not being indiscreet isn't one of them"
    • JohnnyZee
    • By JohnnyZee 4th Oct 17, 6:11 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    JohnnyZee
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:11 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:11 PM
    Ok, so if the tenant has to bear the full cost of replacing the locks, shouldn't they at least have a say on what to replace it with? How can the landlord chose the brand, decide all the costs involved and ask for "cash" without producing any receipts? I just feel there is something not right here...
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 4th Oct 17, 6:15 PM
    • 1,736 Posts
    • 4,670 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:15 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:15 PM
    Also, the keys are not identifiable and hence you cannot trace them back to the flat. So how will someone know where you live if they found the keys on the street? We are talking about busy, busy London!!
    Originally posted by JohnnyZee
    Can the tenant be sure the keys weren’t stolen?

    Sorry, but if you lose keys, you are responsible for the cost of changing locks, I’m usually on the tenant’s side in these kind of threads but not this time, this is just reasonable consequences. I bet they’ll be more careful with the new keys!
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 4th Oct 17, 6:15 PM
    • 15,938 Posts
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    FBaby
    I understand that it is a bit irresponsible to lose a set of keys but you cannot let the tenant bear the full cost
    This sentence is an oxymoron. You can't say that someone shouldn't be responsible for something when they have been acting irresponsible!
    • JohnnyZee
    • By JohnnyZee 4th Oct 17, 6:20 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    JohnnyZee
    Thanks for the responses.
    It looks like I am not gonna win the argument!

    Ok, so if the tenant is responsible for bearing the cost, what is a "reasonable" amount? This term has been used in the contract. Btw, the tenant is happy to pay for duplicating the keys. But not for full cost of an expensive lock!
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 4th Oct 17, 6:24 PM
    • 15,938 Posts
    • 39,728 Thanks
    FBaby
    Reasonable is what it costs to replace the same locks and keys since the previous ones have now become redundant (in terms of doing what it is intended to do, protect your friends and their property). Your friends opted for a property with an expensive lock, unfortunately, that comes with a higher cost to replace. An expensive lesson to learn about being double careful not to lose keys.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 4th Oct 17, 6:28 PM
    • 1,736 Posts
    • 4,670 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Thanks for the responses.
    It looks like I am not gonna win the argument!

    Ok, so if the tenant is responsible for bearing the cost, what is a "reasonable" amount? This term has been used in the contract. Btw, the tenant is happy to pay for duplicating the keys. But not for full cost of an expensive lock!
    Originally posted by JohnnyZee
    Whatever it costs to replace like for like.
    • tom9980
    • By tom9980 4th Oct 17, 6:29 PM
    • 1,231 Posts
    • 3,702 Thanks
    tom9980
    You may wish to change the thread title from "Landlord being an idiot" to "Landlord doing his job"
    “In order to change, we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 4th Oct 17, 6:31 PM
    • 5,618 Posts
    • 5,173 Thanks
    p00hsticks
    Also, the keys are not identifiable and hence you cannot trace them back to the flat. So how will someone know where you live if they found the keys on the street? We are talking about busy, busy London!!
    Originally posted by JohnnyZee
    but there's no guarantee that the keys haven't been lost alongside other identifiable info (e.g. in a handbag that contains letters etc), or deliberately stolen by someone who knows the person and where they live.
    • WibblyGirly
    • By WibblyGirly 4th Oct 17, 6:34 PM
    • 215 Posts
    • 396 Thanks
    WibblyGirly
    When I lost my keys (my whole bag actually) i told my landlord. I said nothing in my bag has the address for the house on it so no way to trace them back. He was happy with that and gave me the spare key so I could get a new one cut.

    If they are definitely lost and not stolen with no way to trace them back to the house I'd agree to the cost of new keys but not a whole new lock as that seems unnecessary.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 4th Oct 17, 6:39 PM
    • 1,736 Posts
    • 4,670 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    When I lost my keys (my whole bag actually) i told my landlord. I said nothing in my bag has the address for the house on it so no way to trace them back. He was happy with that and gave me the spare key so I could get a new one cut.

    If they are definitely lost and not stolen with no way to trace them back to the house I'd agree to the cost of new keys but not a whole new lock as that seems unnecessary.
    Originally posted by WibblyGirly
    What if they were dropped in the front garden or on the street in front of the house? If they are lost, chances are nobody who finds them will know what house they are for, but it can’t be guaranteed and it’s fair enough if the landlord doesn’t want to take that risk, it’s also not fair to expect the other tenant to take the risk, it might invalidate their insurance.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 4th Oct 17, 6:39 PM
    • 576 Posts
    • 217 Thanks
    sevenhills
    Landlord wants to change 1 lock, and duplicate keys for the 2 other locks (he is asking for £148 in total - wow!! He will also add another £90 if he cannot fit the lock himself).
    Originally posted by JohnnyZee
    He is saving you money by not getting a locksmith in the first place, they can cost a fortune.

    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 4th Oct 17, 6:53 PM
    • 833 Posts
    • 547 Thanks
    saajan_12
    I understand that it is a bit irresponsible to lose a set of keys but you cannot let the tenant bear the full cost. - why not? the loss of keys was fully due to the tenant so the cost should be fully theirs.
    I am not sure what brand the current locks are, but wouldn't it be fair for the tenants to pay only part of the cost? The lock is going to outlast the tenancy agreement.- the old locks with lost keys would have outlasted the tenancy agreement, so the LL has the right to be put back in the same position as before the loss - ie with working locks at the end of the agreement. So why should the tenant pay for the full price of a new lock (not even some deteriorated one)!- yes, it should be the cost of second hand locks, but these are fairly sturdy things so I expect the cost of a working, 2nd hand lock to be the same / close to a new one.
    Originally posted by JohnnyZee
    Tenant was 'irresponsible' in losing keys, so they must put the LL back in the same position at the tenant's cost: ie full cost of replacing locks to the same quality as before.

    Also, the keys are not identifiable and hence you cannot trace them back to the flat. So how will someone know where you live if they found the keys on the street? We are talking about busy, busy London!!
    Originally posted by JohnnyZee
    The tenant can't guarantee where / how the keys were lost, ie could have been stolen from their person, lost with other identifiable items, lost in an identifiable place (e.g. the garden, tenant's locker etc)

    Ok, so if the tenant has to bear the full cost of replacing the locks, shouldn't they at least have a say on what to replace it with? How can the landlord chose the brand, decide all the costs involved and ask for "cash" without producing any receipts? I just feel there is something not right here...
    Originally posted by JohnnyZee
    No, the brand/type etc is determined by the existing locks, not arbitrarily decided by either the tenant or LL.

    I think its time to stop arguing and be more careful with keys next time!
    • tower
    • By tower 4th Oct 17, 6:55 PM
    • 222 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    tower
    Another point, say your friends have just pocketed the keys for a later date. After their tenancy has finished, they could return and steal from the new tenant.
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