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Lost keys - no spare keys, no access to flat more than 10 days

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14 views 1 replies latest reply: 01 December 2016
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Tenant

Hi everyone,

Unluckily, I lost my keys (electronic gate key, flat key and post box key) of my flat in an apartment house. I reported this loss immediately the next day (a Thursday) to the letting agency. They told me that it will take UP TO 1 WEEK to get another set of keys (I was already wondering back then why replacing keys takes so long, but thought it was my fault that I lost them) and that they don’t have a spare key to my flat. I was offered that the management opens my flat with the master key and so I could at least get some of my essential things. After the weekend, on Tuesday actually, I called the agency for an update regarding the keys and was told that I should get them the next day. On the next day I was told that they couldn’t get in contact with the management, who has the keys due to sickness of both persons (apparently there is no replacement). The same story I heard until Friday and result was that I was another weekend homeless. On the next Monday I was told that they couldn’t contact the landlord and there are still no keys. So, after 10 days I still can’t access my flat.

In addition, I am frustrated because I am always the person who has to call the letting agency and even if I ask me to give me a call back to update me, that never happened. And they didn’t give me the contact details of the management or landlord, so I couldn’t get in contact directly.

I tried to get help from citizen advice, but they were not very useful.

Anyways, I am going to write a formal complaint to the manager of the letting agency, but before that, I was wondering what my rights are as a tenant in this issue:

1)     1) Is the letting agency/landlord obligated to have spare keys for the case that the keys get lost?

2)     2) Is even 1 week for a set of replacement keys not too long? Is there any legal regulation how long it should take maximum?

3)     3) Can I ask to replace the lock to speed up the process? The original one can be put back after I would have the new keys.

4)     4)  Can I ask for refund of rent? I just image if I would have to pay a stay in a hotel for the time it requires to get the new keys. But anyways, I think 1 week and more are not appropriate to wait for spare keys.

Thank you. 

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Tenant

Hello Lydia,

Obviously, you’ve been taken for a ride here. Expect an overpriced bill for the key and what “administration” the letting agent thinks up. 

1) The landlord should have a spare key for each room / master in case of an emergency. The law entitles you to get the contact details of your landlord, who should be able to open your room within a day’s time. Just pressure the letting agent and demand contact with your landlord. 

2) One week is too much, although there isn’t any regulation on how fast a lock should be changed. This is an urgent matter – you’re being made homeless by their lack of management really.

3) In your place, I would have already had a locksmith open the door / change the lock on my own behalf.

4) Since you’re the one who lost the key, it’s unlikely you can get any rent back, so I’d save myself the hotel money and just pay for a new lock. 

You get the added benefit that you’re now in sole control over entry, which many tenants have very serious problems with. 

 

If I were you, I’d spend my whole day in front of an agent’s desk, until somebody unlocks my property and lets me in. This is your home – demand access to it !

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