What landlords need to know about changing locks

Currently, landlords are not required by law to change locks between tenants.

This means that there may well be copies of keys available that could give people easy and unauthorised access to your property, without any way of tracing them.

Here is a RealRenta checklist for all the different rules regarding locks and keys, from State to State/Territory:


Victorian landlords can keep copies of every key and tenants need to confirm the landlord has a spare set when signing the lease.

Tenants are allowed to change locks with the landlord’s consent.

In the case of Family Violence, tenants are allowed to change the locks but tenants need to pay for it and give a copy of the keys and intervention order to the property manager/owner.


In NSW, landlords need to ensure that a property is ‘reasonably secure” as tenants can apply for compensation from a landlord for stolen property, so it is wise to have landlord insurance.

Landlords need to provide each tenant a copy of all keys and can’t charge for copies of extra keys except to cover the cost of replacement.

Locks cannot be changed, removed or added unless a tenant agrees and if a lock is changed, keys need to be provided to the tenant within 7 days, except in the case of emergencies, tribunal orders, terminated tenancies and evictions.


In the ACT tenants who want to change locks must be given consent first, except in the case of emergency, in which case, a tenant is required to give a copy to the Owner/Property Manager as soon as possible.


In QLD Property Managers and Owners, need to supply and maintain every lock. Both landlords and tenants can change locks in an emergency or following an order from the Tribunals



In the NT landlords need the consent of a tenant to alter, remove or add a lock or security device and if they do so, will need to advise the tenant immediately. Tenants also require a landlord’s consent to do the same and must provide the keys within 2 business days to the landlord/Property Manager.


Landlords and Property Managers are subject to stricter conditions as to what locks they can use and are responsible for ensuring a "minimum level of security” to doors, windows and exterior lights.

If tenants want extra security, they need to get permission and both landlords and tenants need consent of the other before changing locks.

Landlords can be fined if they alter, remove or add locks without permission.


Landlords are in charge of providing and maintaining locks and both tenants and landlords need to agree if locks are changed or removed.

Tenants must pay for the replacement cost of spare keys.


Tenants and landlords need the consent of the other before changing locks. If there is a Family Violence order in place, tenants can change locks and give new keys to the landlords immediately.


Don’t forget to use RealRenta to automatically manage your tenancies.

RealRenta Landlords and Tenants can communicate via the platform with automatic date and time stamping.

Start your free trial here: https://app.realrenta.com/Signup.aspx




Jason Gwerder
Friday, 16 August 2019

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