Housing

questions & answers

Question: How long do I have to wait to change locks after roommate moves out?

Answer: The answer to this question usually depends for the most part on what “moving out” means. As a general rule, and assuming that both co-tenants signed the lease, if and when one of the co-tenants totally vacates the dwelling and in so doing terminates her/his rental agreement with the landlord, then (with the landlord’s permission), the remaining co-tenant may change the locks. However, if the co-tenant who is absent from the dwelling has neither (1) informed the landlord of the co-tenant’s decision to terminate the rental agreement (and deal with whatever consequences may result) nor (2) “abandoned” the dwelling, then the remaining co-tenant likely does not have the right to keep the other co-tenant out by changing the locks. (Under Arizona law, a landlord may determine that a tenant has “abandoned” a dwelling if the tenant has removed all the tenant’s personal property from the dwelling, has been absent from the dwelling without notifying the landlord for at least five days, and has failed to pay rent that is owed (and is now more than 5 days late) (A.R.S. 33-1370).) So, in other words, before the remaining co-tenant changes the locks that co-tenant should speak with the landlord to ensure that the other co-tenant has left for good.

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  • How long do I have to wait to change locks after roommate moves out?

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