Changing the locks

General information

A landlord must provide locks to secure all external doors and windows of rented premises. If any party to a tenancy agreement changes these, they have to give a key to the other party as soon as possible.

A tenant must get the landlord’s consent (which must not be unreasonably withheld) if they want to change a lock in a master key system. If the tenant believes the withholding of consent is unreasonable they may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to change the locks.

Rooming house owners are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure security for a resident’s property in their room.

Family violence situations

A ‘protected person’ can change the locks to the property if the ‘respondent’ is excluded from their home.

A protected person is someone who is protected by a family violence safety notice (issued by the police) or a family violence intervention order (issued by a court). 

A respondent is someone with a family violence safety notice or family violence intervention order issued against them.

More information about these can be found in our Changing the lease in violent situations page

The protected person:

  • does not need to be named on the lease, but does need to live at the property 
  • will need to pay for the locks to be changed — the Victims Support Agency can provide help and advice 
  • must give a key for the new lock to any other co-tenants (except for the respondent).

The landlord or agent is:

  • entitled to receive a key for the new lock and a copy (or a certified extract issued by a court) of the family violence safety notice or intervention order 
  • not allowed to give the respondent a key for the new lock as long as the notice or order is current.

Last updated: 24/03/2014

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