Is it a law to rekey a rental unit after a tenant moves out for a new tenant? Also is there a law to have an move-in/move-out
2 attorney answers
I think a landlord runs a significant risk by not re-keying locks between tenancies. Anyone could get hold of a key and make a copy and create havoc if the landlord doesn't re-key locks. The landlord's obligation is to provide reasonably secure locks. Locks that haven't been re-keyed aren't reasonably secure.
RCW 59 18 260, 270 and 280 are the deposit statutes. What they say is that in order to take a deposit, the landlord must have a walk-though checklist signed by both parties. 270 says that the landlord has to keep the deposit in a financial institution, tell the tenant where it is, forward the deposit to a new landlord, and that no matter what the deposit is not part of the landlord's bankruptcy estate. 280 is about the end of a tenancy. it covers the landlord's obligations to account to the tenant within 14 days for the deposit money, and what happens if they do not. The last sentence then basically un-does the entire plan, by saying that no matter what the landlord can sue the tenant for damage done to the premises. This part of the law is clearly drafted by landlords for landlords. That said, a landlord still has to prove that he's entitled to keep the deposit. Elizabeth Powell
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Re-keying is not required the statute states "Provide reasonably adequate locks and furnish keys to the tenant." The rule on the move in and move out checklist is that to retain a deposit there must be a checklist, is " No deposit may be collected by a landlord unless the rental agreement is in writing and a written checklist or statement specifically describing the condition and cleanliness of or existing damages to the premises and furnishings, including, but not limited to, walls, floors, countertops, carpets, drapes, furniture, and appliances, is provided by the landlord to the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy."
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