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Tenant Changed Lock & No Key To Me

To preface:  I bought this apartment house about 1 year ago & this particular tenant came with the purchase.  They did not have a lease with the previous owner and I didn't have the brains to get one when I bought.  I recently gave them a lease to sign and they refused. Meanwhile, they changed the locks & I do not have a key so I cannot enter the property for any reason.  They are current on the rent, but not having a key bothers me a lot.  What to do?

First of all its your house not theres , you need a key, what happends if there is a emergency and you need to get into the house, its time you draw up a tennacy agreement and put in what you need to have say rent money and so on and if they do not want to follow it they can hit the Bricks or ROAD .
Donald, thanks for your message and your reminder to me of the facts here.  You are absolutely right as to WHY I need a key.  I guess it is time to give them back that lease and tell them to sign it and give me a key, or hit road! PS:  I HATE being a landlord.  I hate that people take advantage of situations.   Oh well. My choice!  Thank you for your 'nudge' to me. It's what I needed.
Laurie , I am your neighhbor in Mass, you have to have thick skin to be a landlord , these people are telling you what there going to do in your house , be nice but be firm and tell them this is the way it is. I hope your lease agreement is month to month.
Samme thing happened to me. I sen them a registered letter that under the law I had a right to inspect, repair ect(sent them a copy of statute) gave them 48 hours to get me a key or I would be entering with a marsall and locksmith to inspect the place they made me a key problems since
If you've explained politely to the tenant why you need a key to their apartment, and they, in turn, refused, you first should have asked them why they refused. Perhaps they had some fears about your entering the apartment unannounced at any time of the night and day, and they didn't think about the various contingencies where you would need a key. That said, they refused to sign a lease, so for all intents and purposes ,they will most likely present you with other problems and difficulties down the line. Inform them that either they sign a month to month renewable rental agreement by a certain date, or they'll have to vacate and then start eviciton proceedings if they show any signs of balking at a month to month a rental agreement and stay on.  Do not offer these tenants any 1, 2 year leases, etc. or any new tenant either. You want to be in a positon to ask a bad tenant to vacate within 30 days with no strrings attached such as a year long lease.
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