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Apt house tenant lost 1 mailbox key, theyre asking hundreds$
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amother




OP


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 9:39 pm
A relative lives in an apartment house on Ocean Avenue and was given a mailbox key and a spare. She is moving now and theyre saying unless she gives back both mailbox keys given to her she has to pay hundreds to change the lock. She has every other apartment key ever given to her.

She cant recall being told that she has to return all the keys given to her (or she'll be charged hundreds of dollars for making a new lock). This lock is a USPS lock, and is very expensive. You cant just make copies of this key at any old locksmith.

Is there anything she can do besides pay hundreds because of this careless mistake?

Btw shes moving because she had a roach and mice problem, and she paid privately for an exterminator, while living there.

Any advice?
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simba




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 9:40 pm
How would they even realize-coup that money from her if she didn’t pay?
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amother




OP


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 9:43 pm
simba wrote:
How would they even realize-coup that money from her if she didn’t pay?


Theyll take it off her security deposit.
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amother




Gold


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 9:47 pm
Maybe she can demand to see the contract that specifies that if she doesn't return this key she has to pay several hundred dollars. If it's not in the contract, perhaps they can't hold her to it.
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bobeli




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 9:50 pm
Go to a special locksmith (there is one one 16th ave and 44th st or something like that) and see if they can make the key, it might cost $20 but not hundreds
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simcha2




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 9:59 pm
Go to the local post office. They'll tell you how much it is to replace it (and do it). I'm guessing in the $50 range, not hundreds
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polka dots




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 10:03 pm
bobeli wrote:
Go to a special locksmith (there is one one 16th ave and 44th st or something like that) and see if they can make the key, it might cost $20 but not hundreds


It seems like the problem isn’t the missing key. They feel like they need to change the lock if both keys aren’t given back.

At first I thought it’s outrageous to ask for $$ to change the lock. But I can hear the other side. They feel like it’s not right to give a new tenant a mailbox that the previous tenant might still have they key. But if she can find someone to change it for cheaper than I think the landlord should allow it
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amother




Coral


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 10:16 pm
polka dots wrote:
It seems like the problem isn’t the missing key. They feel like they need to change the lock if both keys aren’t given back.

At first I thought it’s outrageous to ask for $$ to change the lock. But I can hear the other side. They feel like it’s not right to give a new tenant a mailbox that the previous tenant might still have they key. But if she can find someone to change it for cheaper than I think the landlord should allow it


She doesn't need to change the lock if she can return to the landlord two keys. Meaning - if she is able to copy the one she has, she's fine (though she will have to pay for that).
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thunderstorm




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 10:28 pm
I used to work in property management. Giving back the two mail box keys was required in order to get the security deposit back. It did cost us a few hundred dollars to replace the lock . Whatever it cost the management company, that amount was deducted off the security deposit . This was all written up in the lease.
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nchr




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 10:39 pm
I think the tenant should pay to change the lock.
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amother




OP


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 10:39 pm
This key doesnt look that complicated. Only the Post Office makes keys for this?



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ra_mom




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 10:44 pm
Perfect Locksmith on New Utrecht and 51 has made such copies for me.
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amother




OP


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 10:47 pm
ra_mom wrote:
Perfect Locksmith on New Utrecht and 51 has made such copies for me.


Your keys were for a mailbox?

Is it possible the numbers and letters printed on this tenant's key need to be on the keys returned, or they wont be accepted?
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ra_mom




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 10:50 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Your keys were for a mailbox?

Is it possible the numbers and letters printed on this tenant's key need to be on the keys returned, or they wont be accepted?

Yes
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polka dots




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 10:52 pm
amother [ Coral ] wrote:
She doesn't need to change the lock if she can return to the landlord two keys. Meaning - if she is able to copy the one she has, she's fine (though she will have to pay for that).


I understood that the issue isn’t returning two keys. The issue is that the new tenants privacy is in question if someone might still be holding onto the key that can open their mailbox.
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Amarante




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 10:54 pm
Check the lease to see what it says about keys. If it isn’t specifically written into the lease that she acknowledged receipt of the keys and the penalty for not returning, she is not liable.

If she can find someone to copy the key, she can provide them with the copy. However many keys will not be duplicated by an honest locksmith because the keys are limited for security purposes. I live in a condo and the security keys that unlock the front doors have a statement saying they cannot be duplicated.

The reason there is a penalty is because it is for the security of the building. It is costly to change a lock and imagine the potential issues if someone moves out and still has keys to the mailbox and security. In my building, there is a $250 charge if a homeowner wants a key. The seller is supposed to give the keys to the new homeowner at escrow. The policy is to deter people from giving their keys out and to motivate the, to keep track of them.


Last edited by Amarante on Sat, Aug 31 2019, 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Coral


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 11:06 pm
polka dots wrote:
I understood that the issue isn’t returning two keys. The issue is that the new tenants privacy is in question if someone might still be holding onto the key that can open their mailbox.


The issue of the landlord taking a large amount of money out the security deposit solved if the tenant is able to the copy the key she has - because she will be able to return two keys.

Yes, the missing key is still "at large" yes, this is potentially an issue for the next tenant whose mail might not be stolen, yes - if it is illegal to copy the key it is an ethical issue for the relative tenant.
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amother




Teal


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 11:22 pm
Amarante wrote:
Check the lease to see what it says about keys. If it isn’t specifically written into the lease that she acknowledged receipt of the keys and the penalty for not returning, she is not liable.

If she can find someone to copy the key, she can provide them with the copy. However many keys will not be duplicated by an honest locksmith because the keys are limited for security purposes. I live in a condo and the security keys that unlock the front doors have a statement saying they cannot be duplicated.

The reason there is a penalty is because it is for the security of the building. It is costly to change a lock and imagine the potential issues if someone moves out and still has keys to the mailbox and security. In my building, there is a $250 charge if a homeowner wants a key. The seller is supposed to give the keys to the new homeowner at escrow. The policy is to deter people from giving their keys out and to motivate the, to keep track of them.


Do not duplicate doesn’t mean much.

There are some keys that are impossible to copy because they are doubled keyed and one set has to be specially. Ordered.
But that key doesn’t look so special. It doesn’t cost anything to ask a locksmith to copy if you have one key. (Maybe it it’s missing the usps stamp it’s an issue??)
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amother




OP


Post  Sat, Aug 31 2019, 11:38 pm
amother [ Coral ] wrote:
The issue of the landlord taking a large amount of money out the security deposit solved if the tenant is able to the copy the key she has - because she will be able to return two keys.

Yes, the missing key is still "at large" yes, this is potentially an issue for the next tenant whose mail might not be stolen, yes - if it is illegal to copy the key it is an ethical issue for the relative tenant.


True but she threw it out by mistake. She didnt realize she got two.
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amother




Coral


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 12:00 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
True but she threw it out by mistake. She didnt realize she got two.


Did she tell the landlord this?
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