(Effective January 1, 2012)
Lock Changes Between Tenants: Do you know the rules of renting?
The Landlord & Tenant Act specifically addresses the procedures Illinois requires landlords to follow and the rights of both tenants and landlords in regards to the leasing of residential rental property. As a property manager, it is your responsibility to know and adhere to state property laws. As a tenant, it is important for you to know your rights and responsibilities in order to better protect yourself.
Wordy with legal jargon, the Landlord and Tenant Act has several sections and quite a bit of information to sift through. We know that time is money, which is why we have designed this site to help unpack the implications of the act in a user-friendly manner for both tenants and landlords. View the Illinois Landlord & Tenant Act.
Are you rekeying locks between every tenant?
Section 15 (765 ILCS 705/15) of the Illinois Landlord & Tenant Act requires landlords to change or rekey the locks on their properties between every tenant on or before the turnover date. The turnover date is the day on which a new tenant begins occupancy of a property. The act also states that if landlords fail to rekey between tenants and an old key is used to obtain entry to the new tenant’s rented property, they will be held 100% financially liable for any break-ins and damages that may occur.
When referring to the lock change that must occur between each tenant on a rental property, the act lists several ways this may be done. Most people assume that changing a lock has to be a long and costly procedure with the installation of all new hardware. While this can be true, it does not have to be. Rekeying a lock is just as effective as replacing it, and it saves both time and money.
The rekeying process consists of reworking the inner mechanisms of a lock by changing the pins. New keys are cut to match the new lock configuration and the old keys are rendered useless, in the same way as if an entirely new lock had been installed. No new hardware is necessary when rekeying, so you can have secure locks for a fraction of the price.
While rekeying is a safe and affordable option for fulfilling the lock change requirement, other options include full lock replacement, a combination change on digital or combination locks, an altered method for unlocking electronic locks, or completely changing the means of access to the property.
Mr. Rekey Can Bring Your Rental Property Into Compliance With the Illinois Landlord and Tenant Act