In Germany, a key is lost every 35 minutes. In the event of a lost key, liability insurance does not always cover the damage. The following guide explains what tenants can do about this.
What to Do if a Key is Lost?
A tenant who has lost not only the flat key but also the front door key should act quickly and inform the building management. After all, in an apartment building, the security of the entire building is affected. If the lost set of keys gives unauthorised persons access to the house and the common rooms, the lock cylinder usually has to be replaced at the front door. In addition, tenants and administrative staff need new keys. There is no general answer to the question of who will ultimately have to pay for the damage. Information about the Locksmith Munich locksmith service can be found here.
However, it is a misconception that private liability insurance will always pay for such damage. If the tenant does not have insurance cover, it takes much longer to settle the claim, especially as tenants are often unable to pay the high costs out of their own pockets.
In Which Cases Does Liability Insurance Pay Out in The Event of Lost Keys?
In the case of a lost house key and the financial damage it causes, ordinary private liability insurance is usually not enough. Such an annoying key loss can quickly become very expensive. Especially if it is necessary to replace the entire locking system of the building. If the apartment building has an electronic locking system, the lost locking medium can be digitally blocked, which can be done without much effort.
Thus, in order to adequately protect oneself against a lost key with private liability insurance, additional coverage is usually necessary. After all, private liability insurance can usually be easily extended to cover the loss of a key.
What Happens if Someone Else’s Key is Lost?
Tenants in an apartment building come into possession of the flat and house key when the landlord hands over the key. However, the landlord remains the owner of the keys. The tenant is entitled to use the key during the period of tenancy.
What Should The Landlord Do?
If a tenant loses their key, the security of the property is at risk. The tenant has a duty to inform the landlord immediately if a key is lost. The landlord, in turn, has a duty to have all affected locks replaced if necessary. If the tenant has key insurance, it will usually cover the costs. If you have private liability insurance, it is therefore important to extend it to include special insurance for the loss of keys.
What Happens if The Key is Stolen?
If the tenant is not responsible for the loss of the key, he cannot be held liable for it. The landlord cannot then claim reimbursement for replacing the keys. This is also the case if the key was stolen together with a bag, for example. Even if the key has been lost in a place where misuse by a finder is rather unlikely, the tenant is not liable for it. Incidentally, this also applies if the opposite was agreed in the tenancy agreement.
Moreover, the landlord may only demand reimbursement of the costs of replacing the locking system from the tenant if the locks were actually replaced. The landlord may therefore only demand reimbursement from the tenant after he has replaced the locking system. Consequently, the landlord runs the risk of being stuck with these costs. Moreover, it is not sufficient for the landlord to claim damages if there is only a suspicion of a risk of misuse due to the loss of the key.
If the key is stolen, the police must be informed in time. If a burglary occurs with the stolen key, the key owner and not the landlord is liable. However, if the theft is reported to the landlord immediately, the tenant is not liable in the event of a break-in.