What do landlords think of the duplication of keys

Copy keys: do you have to ask the landlord?

Dear Ruben C.,

handing over the keys is an almost solemn act for every new tenancy. It is hardly surprising that the landlord is legally obliged to hand over keys. The more exciting question is: how many? According to the law, the tenant must have "enough" keys. This is usually at least two house and two apartment keys, plus one more pair for each additional tenant.

In addition, the tenant can have the right to other keys, for example for the cleaning lady or relatives. However, he has to have these keys made and paid for himself.

Landlord needs to know

The tenant - and this is what your question is aimed at - must contact the landlord for every copy of the key always inform about the copying of the key. Because, of course, the owner is interested in ensuring that nobody has access to the property without his or her knowledge. He is dependent on truthful information from the tenant. Because effective technical protection against the copying of keys is only available with modern locking systems. Most of the keys can easily be copied by the tenant - even if a number is stamped on the key.

Serious locksmiths only copy such keys on presentation of the so-called security card. Copying such “protected” keys is not forbidden - and there are certainly providers who switch on the copier even without a security card.

The tenant not only has to have all keys approved, but is also obliged to hand over all copies when moving out. The landlord can claim back the costs for additionally produced keys. If the landlord does not want to pay, the tenant must make the keys unusable.

Tenant must pay for the lock to be replaced

So much for permission to copy. Since you have lost your key, there is another aspect that is important: In such a case, the landlord does not have to accept that a replacement key is simply presented to him. After all, someone with the lost key could gain access to the house and apartment. Therefore, the landlord can have all locks that can be opened with the lost key replaced at the tenant's expense.

However, this only applies if the tenant is responsible for the loss of the key and the key could actually be misused. If it can be proven that you dropped the key in the sea during a cruise, you do not have to pay for a new lock.

My conclusion: Simply copying lost keys is not a good idea, the matter should be exposed at the latest when you move out. It is advisable to notify the landlord of the loss immediately and to find a solution together. If you have lost your keys together with documents that reveal your address, the locks need to be exchanged. If there is a break-in, you face additional problems with your insurance.

Best regards

Your Swen Walentowski