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Recently the building manager of our building let workmen into my apartment to check my balcony for leaks while I was at work, despite me advising her by email that the apartment was not ready for the work to be done as I wanted to tidy the balcony first, and that I would email her when it was ready.
This is the second time workmen have been let into my apartment without my permission.
When I moved in, I did give a set of keys to the building manager “for emergency purposes”. However the manager clearly has a different idea of what “emergency” means (for me: a burst pipe, for her: it’s easier than organising a time for me to be home, which I’m alwys willing to do).
I value my privacy and don’t want strangers in my house without my knowledge, and before I have time to tidy up.
Because of this, I’d like to change the lock on my front door to prevent this from happening and ensure they always have to make sure I’m home before they enter. I know I could just ask for my key back, but there are a lot of people coming angd going and I can’t be confident that there is not another set of keys floating around.
Can I change the lock on my front door?
If you own the apartment of course you can. Just get the barrel rekeyed and only give a spare key to a trusted person who will respect your wishes regarding access.
If you’re a tenant then you’ll need to get permission from your land lord through the agent (if applicable).
However, in the first instance retrieve the keys from the building manager with an assurance that they haven’t been copied. Once returned let them and their superior (maybe even the whole BC) know that the BM didn’t follow your instructions regarding the use of emergency access.
VicRes is right but bear in mind that if you change the lock or add a new one, you are now responsible for something that was previously common property.
Also, if the building manager has a valid reason for needing access in a genuine emergency or subject to Tribunal orders, and you have in some way obstructed that access (by not being around when they need to get in, for instance), you could be liable for any damage caused in gaining access.
It all depends on how much you trust the key-holder.
In the building where I live, in the early days, “security” guys were using duplicate pass keys to access apartments they thought were empty – until a woman who would normally have been at work walked out of her shower and caught one of them reading magazines on her lounge.
That said, 15 years on, I can’t count the number of times my spare key – left with the concierge – has rescued me from a night on the street looking for a locksmith
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