Landlord must change locks

Q. I just moved into a new apartment. When I asked the landlord if the door had a new lock he told me it was the same lock the previous tenant had, but he was sure there were no outstanding keys. I told him I wanted a new lock and he said I could change it, but I would have to pay and give him a key. Am I entitled to a new lock?

A. Under the law, a tenant who moves into an apartment is entitled to have the lock changed, or re-keyed, as often as the tenant wants. The first time a lock is changed or re-keyed, the landlord must bear the cost of the change. After that, the landlord must make the change, however, he has the right to charge the tenant for any costs incurred.

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