What can a landlord do if the tenant changes the locks without permission and refuses to give a key to them?

UPDATED: Dec 12, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 12, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can a landlord do if the tenant changes the locks without permission and refuses to give a key to them?

I have a possible breaker box or electrical (stove) issue in this apartment and I am concerned and would like to get in.

Asked on December 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your tenant has changed the locks to the rental that you own and has refused to give you the key, I would first call the tenant asking for the key followed up with a letter memorializing the conversation requesting the key be given to you by a certain date.

If the key is not provided by the requested date, you should carefully read your presumed written lease to see if the refusal is a material breach of the lease. If it is, you have the option of sending the tenant a 3 day notice to perform or quit. At his time, you should have a landlord tenant assisting you with this issue. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake where the tenant has a basis to bring a legal action against you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption