Tenant Has Changed The Locks On Me?

I am in Texas. Can this tenant do this. I can not inspect or get in if there is an emergency. He refuses me access to the property. My new property manager says we can do anything because he pays the rent. I suspect he the has an additional person living in the unit but can't prove it since I can never get in and he denies it. He has been there only 6 months & is on an 18 month lease. You can see from the outside 2 blinds are already damaged. the first time i went in 3 months after he moved in the commodes were actually black & the A/C filter was never changed & he had an additional pet. He did clean it up and paid the pet deposit. I have never had a tenat do a lockout before & not have access to my own property.

Update:

I need a Texas Landlord to answer. Where is this in the lease???

21 Answers

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  • 4 weeks ago

    be very careful  use a court order don't just go and brake the locks 

  • 4 weeks ago

    Tell him since he changed the locks you will need a key. If he refuses to give you one tell him that only leaves you 2 choices, evict him or change them and give him a key and add the costs to his next rent payment.

    • DEBS
      Lv 7
      3 weeks agoReport

      Then you break into your property after written notice and charge him for the break-in repair plus lock replacement.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Read the lease - the ones I've seen allow the tenant to change the locks as long as the landlord is given a set of keys.

    It's your property; you need keys.

    You can also request to do an inspection, with 24 hours notice. If the tenant isn't there / doesn't let you in; change the locks again.

    • DEBS
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      Texas law, from my quick research, says that landlords do NOT have a right to inspection or to enter the unit UNLESS they have it specified in the lease.

  • DEBS
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Tenants legally not allowed to change locks in Texas: https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/local/tenant...

    "Unless the lease provides otherwise, however, a tenant may not "remove, change, re-key, replace, or alter a security device or have it removed, changed, re-keyed, replaced, or altered without permission of the landlord."

    At the same time, unless you have it in the lease that you are allowed to inspect or otherwise enter the property, then you don't have the right to in Texas. https://www.texastenant.org/tenant_privacy.html

    "Unless the lease agreement says that the landlord can enter your apartment or house, the landlord has NO right to do so, except perhaps in emergencies and for repairs you have requested. This is because a tenant has exclusive possessory rights to the property."

    • J.J.3 weeks agoReport

      Very Good . Thant you. I am from Victoria, Texas.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    He is violating the lease by doing this without permission, you could just start an eviction proceeding and tell him he needs to give you a key and access or kick him out.  I strongly suspect the property manager knows all this he is just to lazy to do the eviction himself and you may want to consider getting a new property manager.

    Another viable option is to simply do nothing.  Sure he is violating the lease and he probably does have someone living there with him but he also pays the rent and probably keeps the place as good as anyone else (and of course the reason he changed the locks is to hide the other tenant).  If it were me I'd demand a key but your call.

    • DEBS
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      Not fair. You have access to the lease. Nobody else here does.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Either you are a troll or both you and your property manager are, quite frankly, fools. The terms of any properly-written lease make a tenant changing the locks and refusing to give landlord a key an immediate, evictable lease violation.

  • 4 weeks ago

    In Texas a landlord can add a provision to the lease that prohibits a renter from changing the locks unless the landlord gives permission and gets a key. In my state, a tenant can legally rekey and not give the landlord duplicate, but not if it is prohibited in the lease or rental agreement.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Sounds like a lease violation and grounds for eviction...

    • Casey Y
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      Its your lease...you don't say whether you are using a standard form (which we could reference)...so how can anyone answer for you?

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    What does your lease say?

    Even if it doesn't address the lock issue directly, most leases state that the tenant isn't allowed to make any material changes to the property without prior written consent from landlord. If that's the case, he's in violation of the lease.

    After verifying what your lease says, provide him notice that he needs to provide you with keys by such and such a date or you will hire a locksmith at the tenant's expense to re-key the locks. And yes, you will be inspecting your property too. Make sure you understand what the lease and applicable laws require of you in terms of notice/access.

    Sounds like this tenant needs to go.

    • R P
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      That's not your problem. Have the locks changed AFTER giving proper notice to your tenant, then send the tenant a bill for the work.

  • 4 weeks ago

    If the written lease specifically says that the resident cannot change the locks he is in violation, otherwise he isn't. You probably should point out to him that he won't receive any exterminator visits or other maintenance services if he doesn't provide the office with a copy of the key. I don't know what the laws are like in Texas but my wife was in multi-family housing for 26 years and you aren't supposed to enter a residents apartment without first notifying them 24 hours in advance here in Georgia.

    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      "you don't have to give notice"? You cannot generally enter the tenants' private homes without their assent, under Texas law and the common law.

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