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Old 02-05-2012, 05:02 PM
 
67 posts, read 86,503 times
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Default Are Property Owners in NM Required By Law to Change Entry Lock to Rental Apartments?

When someone moves out of a rental apartment in New Mexico, is the owner required by law to change the entry lock? Someone told me this is the case in Texas.

I'm going to be moving, and I want to change the front door lock to one that I am absolutely sure nobody has the key for (except of course the owner). I'm curious to know though if it's actually the law in New Mexico that property owners are required to change the lock when someone moves out of a rental. If this is true in NM as it is in Texas, and you know of a website that can give me the statute I'd appreciate it.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
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I don't believe there actually is any law on the books (it'd be very difficult to prove compliance).

Even though it hits the tenant pretty hard if the place gets broken into and cleaned out by a prior tenant, the landlord stands to lose quite a bit on their own (in many cases more than the current tenant); fixtures, appliances, walls and flooring damage, fire risk. I've had and met some stupid landlords in my time but even they knew much better than to not change the locks.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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The problem happens when there's a management company tenants deal with instead of the owner. My concern is something like this: A manager says, "Oh we always change the locks when the prior renters move out," but there's no real legal obligation on the part of the owner to do this, and the management company simply wants to minimize fees to the owner OR (very real possibility) there's simply an oversight and the lock is never changed. We have no clue who was living there before we move in, and the front door lock is the most basic security feature there is.

We may contact the Attorney General's office and simply ask if the law exists or not. There's a helpful website here: Obligations of Landlords and Tenants for Safety, Maintenance & Repairs | Law Help New Mexico but there's nothing I can find about the entry door lock.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Old Town
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Anyone that is a landlord would be best served to invest in a set of Kwikset Smartkey locks. We have them in all rental properties. Takes about 30 seconds per set to re-key them. I have about 15 different sets of keys that I rotate around the 3 different properties.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMHacker View Post
Anyone that is a landlord would be best served to invest in a set of Kwikset Smartkey locks.
Yes, but the problem is the landlord is leaving the property to be managed by a broker, and if there's no legal obligation to change the entry lock, given it works properly, we could very well be moving into an apartment in which somebody else still has the key for the front door who shouldn't have it. That's not a secure situation.

However, if it's actually the law that the lock must be changed from one renter to another then I would want to see some kind of proof it was done, or at the least there shouldn't be any objection that we want to change it.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero View Post
Yes, but the problem is the landlord is leaving the property to be managed by a broker
This is A-B-C for any management company. These companies make their living by not screwing this part up.

Quote:
, and if there's no legal obligation to change the entry lock, given it works properly, we could very well be moving into an apartment in which somebody else still has the key for the front door who shouldn't have it. That's not a secure situation.
Don't rent there then.

Quote:
However, if it's actually the law that the lock must be changed from one renter to another then I would want to see some kind of proof it was done, or at the least there shouldn't be any objection that we want to change it.
Don't know who you're trying to argue your case with. I also have no idea how someone, short of doing it in front of you while you watch, could prove they changed a lock out.

Not that I would ever be a landlord, but if I was, if I got wind of your paranoid set of concerns, I'd not return your phone calls or show you the property. There's more to life than working full-time to satisfy a $600/month renter.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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I've never heard of that law.

To be 100% sure that the locks are changed, why don't you offer to pay for a locksmith to come out and change the locks in front of you and the property manager?
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidberg View Post
Not that I would ever be a landlord, but if I was, if I got wind of your paranoid set of concerns, I'd not return your phone calls or show you the property. There's more to life than working full-time to satisfy a $600/month renter.
--Then I strongly suggest you never become a landlord, and there ain't a damn thing "paranoid" about wanting to be sure my wife, my baby daughter, and my personal possessions are not going to be harmed simply because of somebody's carelessness or criminal behavior. You do sound like a disgruntled property owner or broker.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Old Town
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero View Post
--Then I strongly suggest you never become a landlord, and there ain't a damn thing "paranoid" about wanting to be sure my wife, my baby daughter, and my personal possessions are not going to be harmed simply because of somebody's carelessness or criminal behavior. You do sound like a disgruntled property owner or broker.
Well, obviously this is a deal breaker for you. If the landlord/property manager will not give you absolute proof of locks being changed then elect to rent from someone else.

I have not found any law wrt to changing the locks.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Old Town
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Here are some references if you want to look some more for a law.

New Mexico Landlord Tenant Laws
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