Why Handing over Your Keys is Important
Moving is one of the most tedious and involving things you can do in life. There are so many things you have to do from changing utilities, finding a moving company, cleaning the house and packing. One of the major activities or actions that people forget to put on their to-do-list is handing in the keys to the agent. Ideally, you should hand over all the keys to the house before or no the day that you are moving out. Some firms allow tenants to hand in the key the day after moving as long as it’s a working day. So, what is the big deal about returning the keys?
To avoid extra charges
Since most agencies have a stipulated time frame to hand in the keys, there are charges that you will face if you do not return the keys on or before that date. Some firms usually charge rent for each day that has passed before you return the key while others charge you one week’s rent. If the agency decides to change locks because they fear for the security of the house, the cost will be put on your deposit. Returning the keys on time is extremely necessary if you want to get your deposit back in full.
To terminate your lease
Every tenant is supposed to send a notice to end their lease one month or more in advance. However, your lease ends officially when you hand in the keys and get the receipt showing that you are no longer a tenant. If for some reason you do not bring back the keys, the agent has the right to assume that you decided to extend your lease and therefore start counting your rent as usual. Do not be surprised if you are charged a full month’s rent because you did not prove that you ended the lease.
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For security purposes
If anything happens to the house when you have the keys, it is safe to assume that you are responsible. Any theft, burglary and vandalism that can occur before you hand over the keys will have your name all over it and you will be liable for any damage. There are a lot of burglaries that happen to empty houses because there is no one taking care of the house. However, if you have already given back the key, it is no longer your responsibility to take care of the house and you won’t be held liable for anything.
To allow accessibility
Unless you allow him in, the agent cannot just badge into your house for whatever reason. However, after your lease ends, they have every right to come in, do inspections, clean up and show other potential tenants around. Handing over the keys gives the agent the permission to access the property at will without asking for your permission.
When you are moving it’s easy to forget that you need to take the keys back to the agency. To avoid this, you can return all the keys days before the moving day and stay with only one spare key that you will use to lock up the place when you are done.
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