Who is Authorized to Change Locks

by Brian Loria

Authorized to Change Locks

Everyone has heard stories, some of them true, some of them certainly not, about unauthorized changes in locks – the wife who changes the locks to keep her cheating husband out, an office building having its locks all changed instead of the building across the street. If you’re a homeowner, a property manager, or an office employee, on some level you should be aware of the protocols of changing locks. More important than if you’re allowed to change them yourself, or if you’re able to give authorization, is what to do should your locks be changed unexpectedly. You can call a locksmith, but if someone has had the locks changed to keep you out, it might be difficult to attain authorization to change them back. Mistakes are rare, but they do happen – the best thing you can do is arm yourself with information.

Leased Homes and Apartments

In most cases, lease agreements will prevent tenants from changing locks themselves without permission from the actual property owner. Depending on the circumstance, an agreement can usually be met between the interested parties. The most significant issue is that the landlord needs to retain access to the property should a need arise. On the flip side, a landlord is not always authorized to change a property’s locks while a tenant is still residing there. In extreme cases, generally regarding significant lapses in payment and refusal to vacate, it can be used as a last resort. As a locksmith, it’s imperative to know the reason for changing a lock before doing so.

Offices and Commercial Buildings

Business properties follow a different set of rules. In general, business managers are allowed to authorize lock changes, generally assumed to be following the direction of a business owner or regional manager. A commercial property manager will usually have a trusted locksmith who retains a list of personnel with permission to change different locks on the premises. If you’re looking to change offices for your business, you should consider asking the new property manager about this in advance. It can ease the transition as you move into the new space. Determining your options as master key and lock services go will also help you plan out how workflow will happen in the new office. As with leased apartments, it’s important for a locksmith to know the reason for changing an office lock – a new office for an existing business takes a slightly different approach than a business who has recently suffered a security breach.

Homes and Vehicles

When it comes to changing the locks on homes and other private properties, we insist that at least one of the home owners be present. Automobile locks, especially ignition key systems, can usually only be changed if you still have a copy of the right key. Otherwise, you may need to contact a dealership. Replacing car locks is a difficult job – we can do it. Every locksmith’s nightmare is performing a lock change only to find out it was ordered maliciously. We do our best to avoid that situation – the security of your home, your office, and your automobile are all incredibly important to us. If it means a little more scrutiny before engaging in work, so be it. Our commitment to excellence and integrity demands it.

If you have any questions or concerns about who is authorized to change a lock, don’t hesitate to contact us. If you have a set of locks that need changed, have lost keys that need replaced, or have need of any other security assistance, call us today!

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