Landlord Tenant Laws and Do Not Duplicate Keys – Seattle's Maple Leaf Locksmith LLC – (206)335-4559

Landlord Tenant Laws and Do Not Duplicate Keys

Today somebody called me asking about restricted keyways for his rental unit. I warned him that I’ve been told that it is not legal to restrict your tenant’s ability to copy keys to their personal unit, though in multi-unit buildings it is perfectly okay and even suggested to use restricted keys for common entry.

To this he appeared to get huffy and told me that laws going through the legislature will require landlords to use restricted keys for all rentals because of the danger that their keys might be used to open other doors and the landlord who originally issued the key could be found liable for damages.

I didn’t laugh out loud at him when he said this, he hung up too quickly. Look for an update to this article in the next few days because I have to make certain by calling the tenants’ rights union where they have free legal advice about such matters. Even without speaking to a lawyer about this I am pretty certain that this is complete and utter hogwash. No doubt this man found a locksmith happy to sell him some expensive Medeco locks and keys for $300 a pop but there is no way that King County or any other legal entity is requiring landlords to use restricted keys.

The most interesting facet of this is that there may be some forum of landlords urging each other to buy high security locks for their tenants. Just because I tend to see the uglier side of landlord-tenant relations where the tenant is a complete basketcase I tend to side with landlords that protections for tenants are too great in Washington State but it’s good for tenants who aren’t total dirtbags to not be abused by landlords who are, and for them it’s good to know that there are resources available for free! They are very knowledgeable and willing to give advice and if they aren’t certain they ask their lawyers and get back to me.

The only reason I ask these people questions is because I’m trying to be helpful to landlords and tenants while going about my business.

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Bjørn Madsen

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