Tenancy Advice - Changing Locks

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Tenancy Problems - Changing Locks

Q: Is there any assurance that a new tenant to a given rented unit can have that the previous tenant of the unit did not (either deliberately or accidentally) retain copies of keys to the premises? That is, can a landlord be under any obligation to change the locks to access a unit between the tenancies of two different occupants, or is the onus on any new tenant to change the locks at their own expense as soon as they move in if they want some security in this regard?
A: Section 25 of the Residential Tenancy Act of BC speaks of the rekeying of locks on the start of a new tenancy. It says: "(1) At the request of a tenant at the start of a new tenancy, the landlord must (a) rekey or otherwise alter the locks so that keys or other means of access given to the previous tenant do not give access to the rental unit, and (b) pay all costs associated with the changes under paragraph (a).(2) If the landlord already complied with subsection (1) (a) and (b) at the end of the previous tenancy, the landlord need not do so again. An electronic copy of the Act can be found at http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/R/02078_01.htm Ask your landlord to rekey the locks and show him a copy of section 25 of the Act. I'm sure you'll get the result you want.


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