You Did Not Change The Locks!

You did not rekey the locks

I received an email this morning from an agent who represented the tenant on one of my lease listings.

In his email, he noted that, “While the landlord changed the locks after the last tenant moved out, Texas Law requires the landlord to change the locks within 7 days of the new tenant moving in.”

This is common misunderstanding of the Texas Property Code.

“TPC 92.156 – REKEYING OR CHANGE OF SECURITY DEVICES.  (a)  A security device operated by a key, card, or combination shall be rekeyed by the landlord at the landlord’s expense not later than the seventh day after each tenant turnover date.”

“TPC 92.151 (15) – Tenant turnover date” means the date a tenant moves into a dwelling under a lease after all previous occupants have moved out.”

The period in which the landlord must rekey the locks starts when the last tenants move out and runs for 7 days after the new tenants move in. This concept is also part of the standard Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR) Residential Lease. Paragraph 19A reads:

“Subchapter D, Chapter 92, Property Code requires the Property to be equipped with certain types of locks and security devices. Landlord has rekeyed the security devices since the last occupant vacated the Property or will rekey the security devices within 7 days after Tenant moves in. “Security device” has the meaning assigned to that term in §92.151, Property Code.”

The intent (implied in TPC 92.151 and spelled out in paragraph 19A of the TAR lease) is for the landlord to change the locks between tenants but no later than 7 days after the tenant moves in.

See all Lease and Rental Homes in North Texas

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

About Tom Branch

Tom Branch has written 597 posts in this blog.


Have you ever just met someone, but felt you like you'd known him for years? That's what most people experience with Tom. He has a knack for making folks feel right at home. After 21 years in the Air Force, loyalty and honesty are the foundation of everything Tom does. In addition to being a Texas Real Estate Broker, Tom is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR).

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