In California, the statewide eviction ban is set to end on June 30, 2021. That means that in San Mateo and throughout the county, renters could face eviction after a year of protection. This has many renters worried that they will lose their homes this summer.
Under the current eviction ban, landlords cannot evict renters once they pay 25 percent of their rent debt. This helps tenants who cannot afford to pay their rent due to the pandemic. If these protections expire, renters will owe the full amount starting July 1st.
Though some cities and counties in California are considering their own bans, many renters are scrambling to find solutions to possible eviction. As a result, many are wondering if they can change their locks and rekey their homes. Is this legal? Do tenants have a right to rekey or change locks without the landlord’s permission?
Tenant Rights to Rekey Properties
Landlords should have access to their own properties, so they can inspect them and keep them safe. However, tenants should also have some privacy and safety.
California is one of the states that does allow tenants to change the locks and not share keys with their landlords. Unless your lease states otherwise, a tenant does have the right to rekey their locks. However, many landlords have included language in their lease agreements to restrict such practices.
If you are a landlord, look at your lease agreements closely to determine if your tenant has the right to rekey their locks without your permission. Even if they do not, it is illegal to lock them out of the property. A landlord must engage in the legal process of an Unlawful Detainer Action. If the tenant is a single lodger, the landlord must give a 30-day notice of termination.
What Can You Do if the Renter Refuses to Allow You Access to the Property?
If the tenant refuses to give you a copy of the key, you can request a Three-Day Notice to Perform Covenant or Quit. This may require the tenant to provide you with a key to the property. Once you have taken this action, you may be able to commence an unlawful detainer action.
Protecting Yourself With the Right Locks
Some types of security solutions are easier than others to change. Landlords can avoid this by looking into a new lock system that allows you to rekey the device yourself. You can also consider installing a better security access solution, such as a keypad. This allows for many people to have passcodes, such as building managers and housekeepers. It also prevents you from being locked out of your own properties.
Do You Need Multifamily Residential Security Solutions in Redwood City?
At Integrated Access Security, we have over 50 years of combined experience helping Bay Area landlords secure their properties and protect their investments. We are a local, family-owned business with dedicated professionals you can trust. Call us today at (650) 332-6667 or fill out our contact form for more information. Contact our Bay Area experts today to find out more.