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who should pay for lost keys in strata building?

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by pthm, 11th Jul, 2006.

  1. pthm

    pthm Well-Known Member

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    We have this situation where one of the residents in a strata building lost her key to the main gate of the secured building. It was rather silly because there are 2 of them living in one of the units and they shared the key to main gate by leaving it in the mail box!!! And, of course it was stolen or lost or whatever. The person did admit to be at fault.

    There is now a potential risk to all residents that some unsavvy character has got the key to the secured building. We want to get the lock changed. My question is who should pay for this? Should the owner of the unit - it is being rented - and claim it back from their landlord insurance (not even sure if landlord insurance policy will cover this?)? Or, should the owner deduct the cost of a new lock (and keys) from the tenants' rent?

    Has anyone had this situation before? Any advice would be appreciated, so I could go back to the body corporate and tell them what to do. Many thanks.
     
  2. Nigel Ward

    Nigel Ward Team InvestEd

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    If I was the strata manager I'd get the locks changed and bill the offending owner. It's an urgent security issue in my book.

    The owner can then chase their tenant to recover that cost or not as a matter between them and their tenant.

    My 2.2 c worth

    Cheers
    N.
     
  3. handyandy

    handyandy Well-Known Member

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    I think you are being rather paranoid. :(

    The likelyhood is that the key is a electrical/telecom key and as such the number for the key is actually on the lock. All you then need to do is apply to your local electricity supplier for a copy of the key with number xxxxxxx as per the lock. Hey presto your through the registered secured lock.

    As far as will the tenant be responsible for the cost of replacement of the lock. My guess would be the your wistling dixie. Certainly if I was them I would not be paying for the above reasons.

    All up I think that the whole registered key process is a joke making a lot of money for the locksmiths and strata managers. Each registered key will cost $15 - $20 depending on the strata manager. 10 Units in the block with 2 people each is $400 just for the keys. A replacement lock, non registered, cost about the $100 mark with each key 2-4$ total cost for replacement $180. So can replace the lock and all keys twice and still come out less that the registered key system.

    But old habits die hard. Recently in an industrial strata we agreed to erect some uprights to support a chain across the driveway so that it could be locked up at night to keep out the hookers and their clients cars. Automatically the strata manager wanted do a registered key system for the padlocks on a chain that anybody could simply walk around. As mentioned its a conspiracy:rolleyes:

    Cheers
     
  4. MichaelWhyte

    MichaelWhyte Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they just got sick of sharing the key so concocted this whole **** and bull story just so you'd get them a new registered key so they could have one each...

    OK, maybe I'm just too much of a conspiracy theorist. ;)

    MW
     
  5. pthm

    pthm Well-Known Member

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    :) Thanks, guys, for your views.

    Nigel: I tend to agree with you that the owner / tenant should pay for the lock change. In fact, one of the other owners has suggested to minimise the cost of getting all new keys for the new lock, we should get it key-aliked to an existing lock - such as the access door to the garage (not the roller one, but the pedestrian door).

    Handy Andy: the lock is not an electrical / telecom thingy. It is just an actual key to the gate which has to be locked all the times because the strata building is in a high crime area - drunkards and the likes. It is really the security of the residents that we are concerned about. It is not a registered key either and people (residents or tenants) can get it duplicated, if needed. I know that the registered key system cannot be duplicated and is more expensive to install etc.

    Michael: I like your conspiracy theory and support it fully! :)
     
  6. Bundy

    Bundy Active Member

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    pthm,

    I'd be finding out from the tenants if the key was in fact "stolen" from the letter box or lost elsewhere.

    If it was lost, the chances of someone finding a key not in the vicinity of the units and gaining entry is negligible.

    If it was stolen from the letter box, then there is a minor security risk.
    I personally don't believe that the security risk is huge as it is only a main gate. These gates only keep out honest people. If someone really wants to get into the complex, they will jump the fence/just follow someone else in through the gate/carpark.

    Were both tenants given a key each when they commenced their tenancy?

    If not, the managing agent/owner should have provided them with one, which would have alleviated the whole sharing the key situation.

    Cheers
    Bundy
     
  7. pthm

    pthm Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bundy

    The owner-occupier who lives at the building said the tenant told her that the key was in fact stolen from the letter box. Not many tenants bother to lock their mail boxes. And, for the life of me I don't understand why anyone would leave a key in the mail box.

    There have been burglaries in the building over the years and residents with young children want the security of a locked gate. So, it is a big security issue for some of them.

    You are right, only one key was given to each unit so when tenants are sharing the property manager(s) did not bother to give them a set of keys each. Some landlords did not want to pay for the extra keys. I will raise this at the next strata meeting to prevent situations like this from happening again.
     
  8. TDFawaz

    TDFawaz Tony

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    Location:
    Brisbane, QLD
    why did they shared that key? why didn't they have their own key (original+ a copy)? that would have been normal. you can expect for this to happen in this case