Should a landlord have a key?

Hi. It’s Tony Cline with HomeVault, and I wanted to just jump on camera real quick and share with you a question that I received today from one of our landlords. I thought it would be a great opportunity to share this with you.

As you know, when you hire HomeVault, you really hire us for two things. The first one is to assist you with minimizing the risks associated with being an investment property owner, and the second one is to assist you in maximizing the long-term returns of being an investment property owner. We have an owner of the property that inherited a property. It’s an investment property that we’ve been managing for years, and now that she’s taken over the property, we have a tenant that the lease is coming up for renewal or expiration and the tenants are going to move.

The new owner wants to meet us at the property to discuss some renovations that can be done that addresses the second thing that we do, which is to assist you, or our landlords, with maximizing that long-term return, making sure that the property stays in good condition, seeing what we can do to improve the property to maximize the rent that we’re able to collect.

We’re going to meet her at the property, and on the phone call before we hang up, she says that she would like us to also bring along a key for her and she’d like to have a copy of the key. This is kind of a touchy subject for a lot of landlords. They get emotionally attached to the property, but we had a conversation that we really have a policy against the landlords having a key to the property. I know that sounds a little bit harsh or maybe counterintuitive, but I want to explain that to you so that you understand that this policy actually addresses the first thing that you hire us for, which is to assist you with minimizing the risks of being investment property owner.

When you sign a lease with the tenant, you actually turn over your rights of possession to that tenant. When that tenant moves in, they get the right to access the property and to occupy the property, but you as the owner or the landlord, you give up those rights to be able to just come and go.

The second thing is, when you hire a property management company, you hire them to manage the interaction between vendors and tenants or the property or to maintain the property, and so realistically, if a landlord has a key to a tenant-occupied property, that exposes them to all sorts of risks because if something were to happen in the property or on the property, they don’t have a defense against the fact that they have a key, and they could’ve occupied the property.

The last thing I want to point out with that is, in the event that your property manager were to disappear, and you were unable to get a hold of them in the future, for less than $100, you can have the locks changed on a property. Providing the keys to your property management company let them provides access to your tenant really draws a line or creates a barrier between any risks that would happen for somebody accessing the property and our landlords.

After we explained that policy, she thanked me for explaining it to her, and she really understood it. She understood that we are in business to do those two things, to assist our landlords with minimizing the risks associated with being an investment property owner, which is what this policy does, and then we’re meeting her out on the property so that we can go through the property to see what we’re going to do to improve the property to maximize or assist her with maximizing her long-term returns.

I hope that helps. If you have any questions about that policy or anything else that we offer, please check out our Facebook page, our YouTube channel, our website. Give us a call at 303-296-1225, or again, check out our homepage at homevault.com. This is Tony Cline with homevault.com, HomeVault Property Management. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again real soon. Take care.