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Can I Legally Copy My Apartment Keys?

Can I Legally Copy My Apartment Keys?

Can I Legally Copy My Apartment Keys?

Moving into an apartment opens the door to new memories and adventures. On move-in day, the property manager will explain the dos and don'ts of residing in the complex. Nonetheless, they often overlook one critical detail — copying your apartment keys.

Whether you require a spare for a loved one or the pet sitter or feel anxious about being locked out, it's essential to know if it's legal to copy your key. Depending on where you reside, making copies of your key may be against the regulations outlined in your lease contract. Therefore, according to experts from our apartments for rent in Wilmington, NC, before you make a copy, you must know what you can and can't do regarding your apartment keys.

The legality of copying apartment keys

Before getting into the particulars of whether or not your existing lease allows you to replicate your apartment key, it's technically not illegal to create a copy. So even if your key has Do not copy forged on it, you're not breaking the law by getting it copied. Likewise, there is nothing illegal about a locksmith trimming a key that has do not copy stamped into it. The only caveat is if the key design has patent protection. In this circumstance, authorization is needed for duplication.

Often, a do not copy request printed on a key does nothing but present the tenant with a false sense of safety. Of course, you presume this means there aren't any other copies of your key swimming around, but it's not necessarily the circumstance.

It may lower your prospects when getting a second key made, but it doesn't make it impossible. Certain hardware stores won't reproduce a key stamped with a do not copy message. Nevertheless, locksmiths will usually make copies for you. They're more conscious that the request on the key is just that, a request and not a mandate.

Legal vs. permitted

Although you now understand it's legal to duplicate apartment keys, it doesn't get you off the hook with a property manager if it's not permitted. Based on the lease and the regulations enforced by your property manager, reproducing a key without permission can still get you in hot water. It won't be the sort of trouble involving a police officer, but it could lead to painful repercussions. For that explanation, it's always best to look at apartment-specific records first to see what's allowed before assuming duplicating a key is acceptable.

Glance at your lease

The lease agreement clearly outlines all regulations and rules associated with living in your apartment. Therefore, it's the best location to look at when you need clarification on what you can and can't do.

Each lease agreement is a little different, so it's always a good idea to read over yours carefully. Depending on where you live and who is managing your building, stringent provisions can get documented in your lease. For example, duplicating a key could become a severe infraction with a fine or even end up becoming a breach of contract.

We hope this helps you understand whether you can legally copy your apartment keys. If you are looking for apartments for rent in Wilmington, NC, call us now. We want to be your next home.

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