Legal FAQs for REALTORS®
— Landlord-Tenant Issues
What if some, but not all of the tenants renting a particular property move out? Am I still required to rekey? (October 23, 2013)
No. Remember, “tenant turnover date" is defined as the date a tenant moves into a dwelling under a lease after all previous occupants have moved out. In this scenario, not all previous occupants have moved out of the property.
Do I have to wait to rekey the security devices operated by key, card, or combination until after the tenant has moved in? (October 23, 2013)
No. The Texas Property Code § 92.156 requires that the security devices operated by a key, card, or combination be rekeyed by the landlord at the landlord’s expense not later than the 7th day after each tenant turnover date. “Tenant turnover date” is defined as "the date a tenant moves into a dwelling under a lease after all previous occupants have moved out.” Because the language of the statute requires the rekey to happen not later than the 7th day after the tenant turnover date, you could rekey before or after the new tenant move-in. Whether you rekey before or after tenant move-in is up to you, you just have to make sure the rekey happens no later than 7 days after the tenant turnover date.
I listed a house for lease where the owner just vacated that house and moved to a new home. The owner thinks he doesn't have to rekey the locks because he's been the only occupant of that house since it was built. Is the landlord required to rekey the locks when he leases the property? (Updated September 23, 2016)
Yes. The Texas Property Code § 92.156 requires that a landlord rekey the locks no later than the seventh day after each tenant turnover date. “Tenant turnover date" is defined as the date a tenant moves into a dwelling under a lease after all previous occupants have moved out. The definition applies even if the previous occupants were the original owners of the dwelling. This means that your client, as the last occupant of the property, would have to rekey the locks no later than the seventh day after a new tenant moves into the home.
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