Change the locks after a roommate leaves
Sharing a room with someone else is common among those who want to save on rental expenses. Though this is advantageous, this arrangement may also create problems especially if the other person just left without paying his or her share of the rent and bills on utilities like electricity, water or internet.
If you happen to have a roommate who just moved out without giving you notice and without paying his/her share of the rent and bill utilities, you can find ways to locate him/her and require that person to pay if you are lucky enough to find him/her. If not, you may choose to take legal actions to compel that person to pay his obligations. That is, if you are ready to face the long and sometimes rough legal process.
But you can do this only if your roommate is included in the lease agreement with your landlord. If the arrangement is just between you and that person, you can sue him/her for breach of an oral agreement but this case may not be that strong considering that the other person can always choose to refute your claims. It’s good if you have let the person sign even an informal written contract.
When your roommate left and you fear about your security, you can always have the option to change the lock of your apartment or room if there is no provision in your lease agreement that tells you not to do so. You can do this even if your roommate left the keys. You wouldn’t know, he/she might have duplicates.
If you do change the locks, you have to inform your landlord and give him a copy of the key.
If your roommate still has his/her personal belongings inside your apartment, you have the option to deliver them to his/her new place if you know where. If not, just wait for that person to show up at your doors to get his/her things.
But if your roommate left in good faith and didn’t have any unpaid bills, maybe there is no reason why you should change the lock. You are even saving yourself a hundred dollars from buying a new set of locks.