How many keys should I provide to my tenants in the UK?

Apr 14, 2024

How many keys shall I provide to my tenants in the UK?

Unfortunately for tenants, there is no obligation for landlords to provide more than one set of keys.

Providing your tenants with up to 3 sets of keys is highly advisable. Depending on the size of the property and how many residents you have at the property, is always something to think about.

A Landlord should always think of any future consequences of providing fewer keys. Of course, inconvenience is one of them. Calling in the middle of the night after a night out is the tenant’s own responsibility. Especially if you have an estate agent who is managing the property on your behalf. If the agency has been given a set of keys, how will they react to this issue especially if the agency is managing the property?

Ideally, this is what you as the landlord have paid for and that is to provide you with a hassle-free management agreement with the agency. Unfortunately, most agencies do not like emergency call-outs especially late at night. Therefore prior to signing any management agreement please do read their terms and conditions.

Another disadvantage for providing fewer keys is that if you as the landlord are managing the property yourself whilst you live far or out of the country, it will be impossible for you to attend with your duplicate key especially late at night.

If there is a sign of an emergency due to safety i.e., boiler engineer, electrician, or a leak it is imperative for your contractors to obtain quick access to the property.

In a case of an emergency, you really wouldn’t want the tenant to contact a locksmith that would drill into the lock and ruin the door as well.

Please read some scenarios which we have experienced:

  1. The tenants’ door was damaged by a rogue locksmith.
  2. The managing agent does not answer the phone.
  3. Managing Agency charging £350 for a call out charge to bring the keys.
  4. The landlord is on holiday and no one has a set of keys.
  5. The bailiff is here but the landlord’s keys do not work now.

If you are a landlord and reading this blog, I highly recommend putting yourself in your tenants’ shoes. If you do have to charge the resident, then £90 should be fair to charge the tenant. A landlord should always have a backup plan for providing a decent service. There are other blogs which you can read as well to give you a decision.

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