I’m currently renting a property here in Sydney. I was given one set of keys for the unit by the property managers looking after the property. I am moving out of the unit soon and the property managers asked if they could have the spare set of keys that I had cut for my partner to use to let potential tenants come through the property. We lent them the keys. Now here’s the bad part: we accidentally locked ourselves out of our unit last night. We contacted the agent and were advised to call a locksmith, or call back tomorrow so they can see if they could get someone to go to the office to get the spares of ours. We’re kind of tight on cash at the moment so we called today and were basically told that it was our fault and to go call a locksmith and pay the costs ($120 or so). I called the property owner who I deal with directly sometimes and she didn’t have a spare set of keys, however she was extremely nice and offered a place to stay for the night (I declined). Now I know that it is our fault for locking ourselves out, but what angered me was how the property manager spoke to me. Also the fact that they didn’t have a spare set and had to borrow OURS.. I was wondering what the responsibilities of the property managers are in a situation like this? Any help would be much appreciated.
BrandonJetDollarsParticipant@jetdollarsJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 2,435
As far as I know it is the responsibility of the tenant of keep the keys safe. I understand your situation where your spare set of keys was given to PM.We contacted the agent and were advised to call a locksmith, or call back tomorrow so they can see if they could get someone to go to the office to get the spares of ours.
If the agent adviced you to call the locksmith, then it is there responsibility. Because you take their advice. You already contact them. So I believe they should give it back your $120.
[Keep going, you’re on your way to financial freedom]CeliviaParticipant@celiviaJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 886
That’s lame, Brandon, the PM doesn’t seem to have compassion and understanding at all.
I’d demand my spare keys back straight away, let them organise their own set of keys!
They’ve done wrong, and seem disorganised. of course a PM must have a spare set of keys at their office for every property they’re managing.
I’s also let the owner know how badly the PM handled this case, hopefully they’ll sack them over this issue.
THe PM should have done their job and they didn’t do it. It seems like that this PM is happily charging management fees every week, but doesn’t want to do any work for it. I wouldn’t accept that as the owner!
I know I’m not of any help but can imagine how upset and angry you must feel because of the way the PM treated you.[xx(]
gosh I would be thinking to myself (as an owner) the PM has lost my keys! Careless Get them to explain what they did with my set of keys!
As a tenant I would be thinking $%#@! if they misplaced or lost the keys, and I rent it, who has my keys?
If this is the case I would be demanding for security reasons that the locks were changed.
PM’s are responsible for the keys they hold, if there has been some breach eg lost keys, they should take the steps to rectify this.
I assume here that the spare set you gave them, and which you technically own, is now in their care and they might deny ever having received them from you (cover their tracks)
If you gave them those keys I wonder why they wouldnt give them back to you- they could have got a copy sooner and given them back.
Sceptical here, makes me wonder what they have been doing in anycase.
DO you feel secure now?
If you get a locksmith out becuase it is your fault- even though Pm has your keys, and you get a new set (or locks changed) you must give them a copy. hmm I would argue this though…lol
Thanks for the replies everybody! Heaps of useful info there There’s another twist to the story! I just spoke to the owner and he advised me that the property manager handed over their set of keys to another AGENT who are trying to sell this property!! [!] This is a worry for me as I have quite a lot of things in my house Is there anything I can do about this? I’m not too familiar with the legalities of this.. thanks again for all the help everybody.
were you informed that the property is on the market? Obviously not!
They should have told you.
You have a right of say, eg about times of entry for inspections, they can issue with a notice to enter, but they have to give you time (assuming QLD is the same as NSW)eg 24 hours
I suggest you talk to the tenancy people, and know your rights.
Each state has one, tells you your rights.
Ahh sorry! I should have made it clearer. I was aware that they were trying to sell the property, but I wasn’t aware that the agent had my keys as they always have to call me to arrange inspections. This is what boggled me 
try this web site
The agent you rent off should always have a set of keys, but another agent for selling purposes….hmmmn
Thought they would have to go through your agent…
you might want to check out a little more:
from the website:
to show the premises to prospective buyers, on a reasonable number of occasions if the tenant gets reasonable notice on each occasion. What is ‘reasonable’ is for the parties to agree upon. The Tribunal can settle any disputes if one party believes the other is being unreasonable. Access to show buyers can occur at any stage during the tenancy.TeacherK6Member@teacherk6Join Date: 2003Post Count: 164
Some people have a heart of stone, sad to hear…
The agent is a !%*)# @%^*)… how did he/she sleep at night telling you to call back tomorrow after knowing u have been locked out???
As for the property being put up for sale, i sold a property, and the agent informed the tennant first, apparently its the norm (i was told), in case the tennant wants to put in an offer themselves or move out…
hope it works out but…
JasonyackMember@yackJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 1,206
If I was the owner of the property, I would find this is totally unacceptable behaviour on the part of the property managers.
I would demand the keys back or at least use of the spares till you open the door. You have been kind enough to let the sales reps through for inspections.
Go talk to the Sales Rep selling the property and demand he fix the issue or at least have a go at this rental department.
He has a vested interest in keeping you (the tenant) happy – get him to fix the issue.annaw2Participant@annaw2Join Date: 2003Post Count: 178
Contact Dept Fair Trading for sure, that is all so unreasonable.
The property manager photocopies all the keys, house, garage, letterbox, security door, etc. and that is kept in the owner’s property file so they can be accounted for/checked when the tenant is moving out and returns the keys. They need keys for a routine inspection when it’s due if you have ok’d this when you are not at home and they also need keys to do the final inspection when you move out. A bit of advice in this case – make sure you are present at the final inspection. You would want to get all your bond back so wouldn’t want the property manager to note the place as not being clean for example and take money out of your bond.
You also have rights as a tenant to say no to inspections when you are not home. They can be done after hours. The agent can’t keep an eye on everyone every second to see that they are being honest. They should leave their business card so you know they have been there. You know who not to recommend.
AnnaAdministratorKeymaster@piadminJoin Date: 2013Post Count: 3,225
Change the locks and tell the selling agent to contact you for inspections.
I believe you can even state that the only time for inspection which suits you is only so and so day between 12 and 2 pm.
It looks however time to look for another place to rent.
PiscesqueenslanderMember@queenslanderJoin Date: 2002Post Count: 8
Bad advice – you cannot change the locks without the PM or owners permission. If you do, you will be in breach of the Tenancy Laws in Qld. However, agree with you about time for inspections. This can be dictated by the tenant.
Cheers everybody 
I don’t think the property managers could do much if I changed the locks.. 5 of the units in this block were broken into a couple of months ago (my brother staying at my place so I was lucky!). The strata changed the locks on those 5 properties to deadlocks, mine’s still a crappy lock which would be more suited to a bedroom or bathroom (keyhole on outside, switch type latch on the inside). They’re really weak.. I’m going to call fair trading tomorrow and see what I can do about the locksmith fees.. 
from my understanding, if the place is a risk, and your home is because of the situation (even though area may not be a good enough indicator- but in the same blcok would be) If the agents are aware of the problem, and you tell them you want the locks and the place secure, then they have a duty of care.
You have informed them, if anything happens I beleive you have right to take action.
Sometimes the best action though is to vacate and you can do that in some circumstances.
I did post the web site for Dept fair trading it gives you the answers to most things.
You’re right elves
We’ve been annoyed with the property managers for a while now but haven’t done much as we feel sorry for the owner. He’s in a bit of financial strife at the moment so we don’t want to cause too much trouble for him (he’s trying to sell the property to repay debts). My girlfriend didn’t want any more trouble as we could be moving out this week (the property managers have a few interested parties). I was thinking about the situation with the keys today and the more I thought about it the more it got to me. I’ll be reading up on the Fair Trading site more thoroughly tomorrow as we only skimmed through it a couple of days ago. I’ll try and keep everyone up to date if there’s any progress. [^]melbearMember@melbearJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 2,429
When we handed our property over to a PM, we gave them two sets of keys. They still charged us to cut another set – I think they gave two sets to the tenants. I would definitely look at giving the PM the locksmith’s bill (they’ll just pass it to the owner anyway), especially as you let them use your set of keys. What would they have done if you only had one set yourself, and weren’t prepared to hand them over to them? Sounds quite strange to me.
Melblondie_becParticipant@blondie_becJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 91
I am a PM at the moment but unfortunately have only just started and am a bit vague as to what I am doing but I know that all your rights and everything you will need to know is in the ‘Residential Tennancies Act’ and as far as the keys are concerned I think that the PM you dealt with should have been shot!
Hope that helps anyway,
Newbie comin through!