Locksmith fees: who the tenant or the owner has to pay?

who the tenant or the owner has to pay?
Locksmith fees who the tenant or the owner has to pay

It is vital to consider the nature of the repair with the help of a locksmith in a dwelling. As he can irreparably modify the door, transforming it from its original state. This is the case in the context of emergency response, in particular after the intrusion of burglars in the premises.

The tenant accepts the accommodation in its initial state when the keys are handed over. This is stated in the rental lease agreement. If the tenant thinks the door does not have the security system he expects, he may decide to install an armored door, for example.

He may also choose to install a superior security mechanism to prevent theft. In that case, it should inform the Owner. Remember, the tenant cannot proceed without informing the latter. The tenant will then bear the costs of this type of work (especially labor costs) unless there is a mutual agreement between the two main protagonists.

Locksmith fees payable by the tenant: what interventions are involved?

When we think of Auto Locksmith Services, we automatically think of opening a closed or stuck door or the door armor. In reality, the locksmith intervenes in many situations.

The costs will depend on the level of difficulty of the repair and the type of mission entrusted. In a non-exhaustive way, here’re some examples of repairs carried out by a professional locksmith and charged to the tenant:

  • Repair of door handles and/or hinges;
  • Replacement of a lock, keys, or other small parts;
  • Lock cylinder change;
  • Unblocking of a door and securing, via an A2p system;
  • Lubrication of locks, doors, and hinges;
  • Repair of the door frame;
  • Maintenance of a defective or broken lock, following normal wear;
  • Door opening inadvertently locked or closed;
  • Door shielding by a skilled locksmith;
  • Repair work after an act of vandalism.

Who has to pay locksmith fees?

What are the locksmith fees that the tenant must pay? The latter must respect the payment of the repair costs of the locksmith when they are consecutive:

  • The door frame movement;
  • Or at a level of the uselessness of the door which induces a faulty operation of the lock;
  • Either to faulty workmanship.

Thus, in these different situations, the Owner is required to pay the price of the work and the installation of a new lock by a locksmith company. On the tenant’s side, the vital thing is to inform the Owner as quickly as possible so that he can see the existence of the defect. The Owner then contacts the locksmith or gives his consent for the tenant to contact one.

If the tenant notices that the door is not sufficiently secure, he always has the option of asking for repairs to be made before entering the accommodation. It will be up to the Owner to pay the invoice in this case.

Lock Replacement: Who Should Pay the Locksmith Fee?

If the lock needs to be replaced, the tenant or landlord pays the costs depending on the cause of the malfunction. When the lock is:

  • Damaged by time
  • It is out of date,
  • Or, if the lock suffers from a hidden defect, it’ll be up to the Owner to pay the replacement costs.

In the event that the cause of the malfunction is not identifiable on the part of the locksmith, the first solution available to the tenant is to negotiate with the lessor. It is, therefore, preferable to discuss directly with him to find a compromise. And thus share the costs in half rather than enter into a dispute.

Procedures for paying Locksmith’s fees

In certain cases, the Owner is required to pay the locksmith’s costs, as in the case of an abnormally deteriorated state of the lock or the door. The tenant must follow specific steps in such a situation, especially if the landlord refuses to honor the payment. Thus, the tenant must prove the state of obsolescence of the lock or the door.

How to proceed in practice?

Be aware that writing from the locksmith indicating that the condition of the defect is due to obsolescence is not sufficient. The tenant must, first of all, notify the Owner by the means he deems useful. Once the latter has been contacted:

  • Either the Owner recognizes the state of obsolescence and pays the invoice,
  • Either the tenant must prove on his side this fact. This is not obvious in itself and the tenant often has to call on an expert to support his arguments.

Good to know: as a tenant, call a locksmith only after obtaining the Owner’s agreement, under penalty of advancing costs which may never be compensated. If the lock is changed, it is too late to prove the cause of the malfunction. The exception here is in emergencies. If the lock is out of order and the tenant is stuck in the accommodation, this is the case. In such a case, the tenant can request the intervention of the professional without having obtained the Owner’s agreement beforehand.

 

LOCK REPAIRS: TIPS TO AVOID CONFLICTS

On the lock repair side, the situation can sometimes pose some difficulties. Here’re some wise tips:

  • When preparing a list of front door fixtures, the tenant should mention all the elements related to the residential lock. If the tenant sees a defect in the front door of the dwelling, he has the right to request a change of lock at the landlord’s expense.
  • The professional locksmith determines the causes of the malfunction. You will know who is responsible for paying the invoice from that moment. If the repairs are due to an abnormal state of deterioration, it will be up to the Owner to pay the cost of the locksmith repair. If the lock is routine maintenance, then it will be up to the tenant to honor the repair costs.
  • In the event of a break-in or vandalism, the tenant files a complaint with the police station or the gendarmerie and informs his insurance as soon as possible.

Locksmith work and insurance intervention

Depending on the provisions of your insurance contract, you benefit from a more or less complete guarantee as owner or tenant. A tenant who loses his keys or has them stolen can, for example, benefit from the intervention of his home insurance. The latter then bear the costs of a locksmith’s intervention. The costs covered generally include travel and the cost of labor.

In any case, it is necessary to lodge a complaint with the police station in the event of a break-in or theft. The complaint is then sent to the insurer, to which is attached the invoice issued by the locksmith.

Note, however, that the professional locksmith’s invoice must mention the “replacement of the locks identically” in the event of theft. In the event of a break-in or attempted break-in, the invoice includes the words “replacement of the locks identically following a break-in (or attempted break-in if this is the case)”. Such a mention covers you in all cases.

What if the owner refuses to pay the locksmith fees?

It may happen that the owner refuses to take charge of the locksmith work. This even though these are not rental charges. How to proceed in this type of situation? The tenant can apply to a departmental conciliation commission or to the registry at the local court (if the dispute is less than 10,000 euros). Failing this, the competent court is the judicial court.

Note that the tenant must not stop paying his rent under the pretext that the owner refuses to take responsibility for the repairs to the locksmith. If he decides not to pay his rent anymore, he places himself in a delicate position. The owner can then bring an action against him on the basis of unpaid rent. He then has the possibility of terminating the lease contract at the exclusive fault of the tenant.

In absolute terms, if the judge considers that the owner must actually pay the locksmith fees, several options are available to him:

  • either it forces the owner to carry out the replacement or repair work at his own expense
  • it can also authorize the tenant to have the necessary work carried out. This in return for reimbursement by the owner of the advanced costs
  • or even order the payment of damages for the benefit of the tenant. Compensation is based on the existence of a disturbance of enjoyment.

Whether the locksmith costs are the responsibility of the tenant or the owner, they are essential to restore a lock or an entrance door. The All in one Locksmith experts is available to guide you to the best solution for your locksmith work.

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