Unless the lease prohibits the tenant from changing the locks without permission, the tenant is permitted to do so. Unless the lease states that the tenant must give the landlord a key, the tenant is not obligated to do so. When the tenant vacates the premises, the tenant either has to turn over the new keys or restore the lock box to its original condition and return the appropriate keys. If the tenant neither turns over the keys nor restores the lock, the landlord may deduct the cost of replacing the lock from the security deposit and notify the tenant that this deduction will be made.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified landlord tenant lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact an attorney in your area from our directory to discuss your specific legal situation.