Can You Change Your Locks in an Apartment?

Whether or not you can change your locks in an apartment depends on state law and the terms of your lease agreement. The answer to this question can be a little confusing.

For starters, you should never change the locks on your rental property without first getting your landlord’s approval. This is a violation of the law and could lead to eviction in some cases.

Lease Agreement

If you have a lease agreement with your tenants, it’s important that you read and understand what the terms of the lease state. This includes what you can do with them if they break the terms of the lease or do something illegal.

For example, if the lease agreement states that a tenant can’t change their locks without your permission, if they break that, then you can take legal action against them, including eviction proceedings or a lawsuit for breach of contract. This can be a costly and frustrating process for both parties.

Landlords and tenants alike can benefit from a strong relationship, so it’s worth taking the time to build trust. This includes ensuring the property is safe and secure, and providing your tenants with access to their home when they need it.

It’s also a good idea to have locks that are easy for your tenants to use. This will make them more likely to come back, and keep you in business.

In addition, it will help you to ensure that your rental property is well maintained and free of damage. This will protect your property and reduce the risk of liability for any damages that might be caused by a tenant.

This is especially true if you’re using smart locks, which are becoming increasingly popular among landlords and tenants for their convenience and added security features.

Changing the locks between tenants is usually not a legal obligation for landlords, but it may be a worthwhile investment for your peace of mind. Additionally, it can provide a higher level of privacy for your tenants, which can make them feel more comfortable living in your space.

For example, if your apartment is in a busy area and you’re worried about someone breaking into the building, changing the locks might give your tenants more peace of mind.

There are many other reasons you might want to consider changing the locks on your rental property between tenants, too. These include feeling unsafe or insecure, suspecting the landlord or another tenant has a key, and simply wanting more privacy.

State Law

State laws on apartment lock changes vary widely from state to state. This is because each state has a specific set of laws that are designed to protect citizens from crime and a variety of other issues. However, this can make it difficult to know exactly how you should handle the issue.

The first thing you should do is check with your local housing authority to see if there are any rules or regulations regarding changing apartment locks in your state. You should also consult a legal expert to ensure you are not in violation of any laws.

Many states do not permit tenants to change their apartment locks without prior permission. This is because it could be dangerous and could put the security of your rental property at risk. In these situations, it is important to contact the landlord and explain that you are having the locks changed for security purposes.

If you have a lease agreement that states you are allowed to change the locks, you should give your landlord a copy of the new key immediately so they can have access to the property in case of emergencies or other maintenance issues. You should also provide the landlord with a duplicate key if they ask for it, as well as any other key you have.

Some states allow tenants to change their own locks, but it is important to check the details of your lease agreement before making any decisions. This is because the law may not be clear in your situation and it can lead to legal problems.

In addition, if you are having a security issue in your apartment, the law requires you to get a locksmith to change the locks so that you can secure the property properly. This can be a costly endeavor, so it is important to do the right thing by protecting your rental property and making sure that it remains safe for you and your family.

In most cases, it is legal for a landlord to change the locks of an apartment. This is especially true if your tenant has been in rent arrears, caused damage to the property or has broken their lease agreement in other ways.

Safety Issues

One of your responsibilities as a landlord is to ensure that your property is safe for your tenants to live in. This includes making sure that the locks and keys work correctly, as well as conducting regular safety inspections for appliances like electrical and gas utilities.

While it’s rare, some tenants may decide that they’d like to change the locks in their apartment on their own. This could be for a variety of reasons, from wanting to protect their privacy to feeling unsafe in the home.

However, changing the locks in an apartment without the consent of your landlord is against the law and could result in your eviction. It’s important to remember that you need to be able to access your rental unit for maintenance, inspections and emergencies, so it isn’t worth risking the eviction process by changing the locks yourself.

You’ll also need to ensure that any damage you do to the locks is covered by insurance. Otherwise, the cost of the replacement will be a major expense for you and you’ll be liable for any claims made on your behalf.

Depending on where you live, there are a few different laws regarding changing the locks in your apartment. In Alaska, for example, you can only change the locks on your own if you get permission from your landlord.

New York state laws require that you provide your landlord with a copy of the key when you change the locks. This helps your landlord to know if the lock has been changed, and it also makes it easier for you to get in should the lock become damaged in any way.

Some states, such as Oregon, also place a legal duty on you to change the locks when someone moves into your property. This can be particularly important in situations where previous tenants have had their house keys cut.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure that all of the doors in your apartment have working deadbolts. You should never compromise on this. This is the most important aspect of ensuring that your apartment is secure.


Eviction is the legal process used by landlords to remove a tenant from a rental property. It usually involves the filing of a formal court case against a tenant. The reasons for eviction may be many and varied, and they depend on the type of property and state laws.

The eviction process can be long, expensive and painful for all parties involved. It is also a violation of the tenant’s rights.

It’s important to understand the difference between a legal eviction and an illegal one. A legal eviction involves filing an eviction notice with a judge and serving it on the tenant. This is usually done by a public officer, and it must be served on a business day.

If the eviction notice is served on a non-business day, it’s usually not effective. It’s best to serve the notice on a regular business day, such as Monday or Friday, and make sure that the tenant knows when the police will come back to take possession of the property.

You’re allowed to change the locks on an apartment if you feel it is necessary to keep your tenants safe, but it must be done in a timely manner and you should not do this if you are seeking a new tenant. A lease agreement should clearly spell out the rules about changing the locks and should include a lock policy that complies with local laws.

For example, if you change the locks after a tenant has left but before a new tenant moves in, it is considered an illegal eviction. In this situation, you should give your tenant a copy of the new key, and charge them the cost of the lock change.

If you decide to rekey the locks in your property after the tenant leaves, it’s a good idea to send the tenants a receipt and tell them that you’re deducting this cost from their security deposit. This will make it clear that the tenant is not responsible for this, which can help prevent any confusion.

April 1, 2023 3:31 pm