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Trademan Lost The Key To The House, Should He Replace Lock ?

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CW1 | 16:10 Wed 12th Jun 2019 | Home & Garden
20 Answers
Hi,

Had some major work done at a house now let to a tenant. Gave the tradesman a key to the back door so he had access when I couldn't be there (I live an hour away), but he's now lost the key. It means there's only one key between the letting agent & tenant (I'm hanging on the only other one), should he be obliged to change the lock ? If I were the tenant, I wouldn't be comfortable with another key out there somewhere, despite the gate being able to be padlocked. Not practical to get another one cut, either by me or the tradesman.

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Are you looking for legal advice?
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Not really, I don't want to take it that far. I have withheld payment though, partly as he only finished the last bits today, after the tenant moved in, when he was fully aware of the move in date & had promised me twice last week he was on it.
I would change lock and argue about who pays later, just for peace of mind.
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If I pay him, he's not going do anything about the lost key.
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If *I* change the lock, I won't get that money back. Am away for a few days soon too, prolonging it more.
Is he capable of changing the lock himself?
OK, i am not able to offer any educated advice, just my opinion.

I would take pitty on the tradesman. However, i would also like them to pay for the lock.

I would suggest to the tradesman that they compromised security by loosing the key, there for being required to fix this compromised security by either, finding the key, or changing the locks.
I would get the lock changed and take the cost from his payment
I wouldn't ask him to change the lock. For safety's sake I'd get someone else to do it and just cover the cost myself.
"If you’ve had work done at home and there’s a problem caused by the trader, you should be able to get it fixed - or get at least some of your money back.

Whatever the problem is, you’ll need to talk to the trader and come to an agreement.

You should take up the problem with the trader who arranged the work, even if they ‘sub-contracted’ (passed on) all or some of it to another business."

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/cymraeg/consumer/getting-home-improvements-done/problem-with-home-improvements/
CW if your tradesman cannot return the original key then deduct the cost for securing property from his bill.
Question Author
The Builder, would imagine so. He hasn't said otherwise on the numerous occasions I've said it needs doing if he can't find the lost one. If fact he hasn't acknowledged the problem at all, just keeps sending invoices (disputes there to as he can't give me any receipts).

Guess the solution would be to take the cost from his payment, he won't like *that* ! Not practical for me to do as would have to now liaise with the tenant (via letting agent), & being an hour away & going away too, won't be easy to arrange :(
This is beginning to take on a funny smell.

I agree with the ever-practical Naomi. Sort out the disputes and final payment separately, and walk away.
Have someone else change the lock at your expense for the sake of the tenants.
These things happen.
In your shoes I'd consider changing the locks myself.
You can't want the place to be vulnerable.
(Can't see what is impractical about getting a key cut though.)
For the security of your new tenant and your property it boils down to either you or the trader has to cough cough up. In my opinion, as the trader lost the key then the trader should make good and just having another key cut is not acceptable - it may be worth checking how valid your insurance is if there were to be a break in (with your tenant possibly at risk of injury) and you were aware that there was a missing key and had done nothing other than have extra keys cut.



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Old_Geezer, it's impractical because I'd have to take the key to the letting agent who's gawd knows how far away from me (abut 30 mins from the house which is about an hour away, in a different direction) & I'm away later for a few days so can't do anything 'til next week now anyway. As already said, would the tenant be comfortable knowing someone (other than me) has a key. Somewhere.

Think I will have to the lock changed next week, gives him another few days to find it (& trust he doesn't get one cut. Don't think he would), then deduct the cost from his bill.

Thanks guys
Question Author
rsvp, good point, though I don't provide contents insurance …
No but your tenant may and we all know how insurance companies love a loop hole. Look at it this way the tradesman has already shown he's not really taking responsibility what if he has several jobs on the go, a couple of them give him keys so he labels them to save confusion, then he loses one and Bert the Burglar finds it? Recipe for disaster - potentially your tenant is so vulnerable.
When I lost my house keys, I couldn't have gone to sleep knowing that someone somewhere might be able to get into my front and back doors. We had the locks changed the same day.
Get the locks changed for the sake of the tenant's peace of mind and sort out the finances later. That's the least you can do.
in all honesty, when you are a tenant its just a risk you run - no tenant know the history of what keys have been cut previously - for all they know there might be 100 spare keys floating around!

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