With the new Illinois lock change legislation effective January 1, 2012, many Chicago landlords are now required to change locks between each tenant and display proof of doing so to the new tenant. If they do not do so, they become liable for any losses incurred by their new tenants if the loss occurs due to someone having an old copy of the key.
Meanwhile, many small private landlords will allow tenants to change their own locks so long as the landlord gets copies of the keys. (Tenants, check your lease first before changing locks, and if the lease says nothing, ASK YOUR LANDLORD FIRST.)
As for homeowners, changing the locks after you buy a new home should happen before you put any of your personal belongings into the property. Think about how many people might have copies of an old housekey - relatives, housekeepers, babysitters, maintenance folk - do you want them having access once the property changes hands?
There's two versions of lock changes - one is voluntary, when you have access to both sides of the door. The other is involuntary, where you only have access from the outside. Involuntary lock changes could be required if, for example, a tenant moves out without returning keys to their landlord, or a homeowner completely locks him or herself out of their own home.
Let's start with a basic, voluntary replacement of a deadbolt and doorknob.
And here's an involuntary one. Landlords, don't do this unless you're absolutely sure that your tenant is no longer living in the property, or they have asked you to do it. However, do take note of the methods used by this guy for documenting the lock change process. (more…)