Is my landlord allowed to keep a key to my apartment?

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Many people are uncertain whether the landlord must have a key to the residence or not. In this article we will once and for all clarify the rules.

Is the landlord allowed to have keys for your residence?

The answer is actually simple and quite straightforward: No! Landlord must not have a key to the lease.

You are as a tenant in your right to refuse the landlord to have a key to the residence, whether it is an apartment or a room. As a tenant you are required to have all the keys for your residence, and the landlord is therefore not entitled to have a key to your residence. Unfortunately, we often see that landlords are convinced that they are in their full right to have a key to one’s residence, but they do not. However, if you have requested all the keys to the residence and your landlord still has access to your residence, it will actually be illegal and can therefore be reported to the police.

However, it is rare that it escalates to this level and it is also not appropriate for anyone. Therefore, we also recommend that all tenants simply show landlords this article or let them make corrections to us, and we would like to tell them the rules in a calm and proper way, where in 9/10 cases we will be handing all the keys to the tenant.

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Why should you give the landlord a key to the residence anyway?

Even though you are required to have all the keys to the residence, it may be a good idea to have a key to the residence lying by either the landlord or the caretaker (if you are sure that this will not be misused). It could happen, for example, that you lose your key or it is stolen. After that, you can’t access your home and need an expensive locksmith. It will often be both easier and cheaper to pick up their extranet key at one of the parties and then make a copy of the keys.

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In case of an emergency, it may be smart that the landlord has a key to the residence. For example, it may be a water pipe that bursts and the situation will require the landlord to have access immediately. In situations where you are not even home, it will be ideal that the landlord can let himself in.

But remember: You are in your good right to hold the landlord from having a key to the residence.

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