Tenant Refuses To Return Keys After Leaving My Rental

What should you as a landlord do if a tenant refuses to return keys after leaving your rental property is the question this week.

What should you do if a tenant refuses to return keys after leaving your rental property is the question this week for Ask Landlord Hank. Remember Hank is not an attorney and is not offering legal advice. If you have a question for him please fill out his form below.

Dear Landlord Hank:

My tenant is leaving before lease is up and he is refused to give me my house keys what do I do?

-Shari

Dear Landlady Shari,

I’d ask the tenant via email or text so you have something in writing when he is leaving.

Then on that day, I’d go to the property after he has left and do an exit walk through where you assess the condition of the property to see if there is any tenant caused damage or issues.

Then since he is refusing to turn in the keys, I’d change the locks. I suggest you contact an attorney that specializes in landlord tenant law in your area first.

Good luck!

Sincerely, Hank Rossi

Each week I answer questions from landlords and property managers across the country in my “Dear Landlord Hank” blog in the digital magazine Rental Housing Journal.  https://rentalhousingjournal.com/asklandlordhank/

What should you as a landlord do if a tenant refuses to return keys after leaving your rental property is the question this week.
On dealing with the key issues Landlord Hank says, “I suggest you contact an attorney that specializes in landlord tenant law in your area first.”

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I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta.