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Lost House Key - Whos Liable?

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Old 05-17-2018, 07:23 PM   #1
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Lost House Key - Whos Liable?

Hey guys!

Super random question here looking for opinions.

If the key to a property is lost and was lost due to a sub. Who is a liable and whos at fault?

Also what are the rules for keys in a lockbox?

Sub lost the key for the front door, some of tools went missing.

He says he is not liable because he only opened the door to have access to the house but left the key in the deadbolt all day. When I locked up there was no key in the deadbolt so i used my key on my chain.

My opinions is that he is responsible for his actions. I could be wrong. He also says he has never heard of returning the key to the lock box after the door is unlocked.

Am i living in an imaginary world here? Like am j an odd person?
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:29 PM   #2
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Re: Lost House Key - Whos Liable?

Sub is responsible.

WTF does he think the lock box is for.


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Old 05-17-2018, 07:40 PM   #3
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Re: Lost House Key - Whos Liable?

Thats what I am saying. I dont understand this. Every sub that has come into this property has always left the key in the deadbolt. Like putting a key the box is like rocket science or some strange thing.

When i working for employers, rule number one was if there is a lockbox use the key and put it right back. Rule number two was if client is suppling materials, never take anything not even one screw if its not being used for the project at hand.

Seems simple to me.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:00 PM   #4
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Re: Lost House Key - Whos Liable?

Funny story; after I had to replace a door due to a break-in,
I put the key in a safe place and promptly forgot about it.

I couldn't find it, and I offered to buy him a replacement key if it didn't show up shortly.

He was worried the criminal element would find a random key somewhere in the city and know it would open the lock to his house.

So he had a locksmith come out and rekey it for $250 and deducted the $250 from the brorated invoice I gave him for securing the door at 9PM, installing a new one thenex day, installing strike plates and weatherstripping, drilling for deadbolt and installing it, etc.

I emailed him and told him no charge.

He thought that was cool, so he sent me a gift certificate from HD. I wouldn't have cashed a check if he sent one to me.I keep the uncashed check as a reminder

While going through my wallet several weeks later, looking for cash, I found a key!

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Old 05-17-2018, 08:26 PM   #5
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Re: Lost House Key - Whos Liable?

your sub is an idiot, loser, that won't accept responsibility. you hired a little boy.

I know of some jobs where a lost key costs over $500 because every tenant in the building needs new keys. 20 bucks a key

that sucks about the stolen tools. kinda sounds like he was in on it almost

Last edited by cedarboarder; 05-17-2018 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:44 PM   #6
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Re: Lost House Key - Whos Liable?

Last person who touched the key is generally at fault for what happened to it and subsequent events related to it... proving it is another matter...

Sounds like your (former)sub is making the statement that he doesn't plan on taking the hit and unless you have video there is no way to prove that anyone with access to the key didn't take it and it wouldn't surprise me if he makes that case... so it falls to you... how far you want to take it in collecting from him for it is up to you, but if it's a just a few tools, and nothing else, suck it up... it'd cost you more time, aggravation and money to chase it...
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:35 PM   #7
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Re: Lost House Key - Whos Liable?

You don't have a lost key. You have a thief.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:10 AM   #8
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Re: Lost House Key - Whos Liable?

He's not responsible for it, whoever took the key and stole the stuff is responsible.

...but what are the odds it's the same person...
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:30 AM   #9
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Re: Lost House Key - Whos Liable?

Originally Posted by inthe6 View Post
Thats what I am saying. I dont understand this. Every sub that has come into this property has always left the key in the deadbolt. Like putting a key the box is like rocket science or some strange thing.
Yup, I would leave it in the deadbolt until quitting time too.

Why? Because I'm lazy.

So, because management didn't factor into and price the job to unlock, lock and verify job site security, an expensive loss occurred.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:23 PM   #10
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Re: Lost House Key - Whos Liable?

sites. Never use a lock box as it gets complicated. Had a few keys lost in my time.
Heres how i keep it smooth and easy.

Each of my subs know I leave a key on my sites. I will take a piece of yellow caution tape ( the type made of a burlap stitching that never breaks). I tie the tape to the end of the key. I do this as it is extremely easy to find as without it is like finding a needle in a hay stack. I wrap it around the key when not in use and cover it in its hiding place.
This usually never is an issue and i have many sites running monthly / yearly.
Next, buy a trail camera on amazon for $50. I use X Lounger. 1-2 per jobsite.

Batteries last 6 months. Hide that baby facing the front of the site up in a tree or screwed to the upper peak facing the front door area. I also use it for illegal dumping in my containers.

As far as tools being stolen, this should be a rare occurance however alarming as a crew should be trustworthy.
Something like this would be resolved with the trail camera as it would show the culprit walking out with the tools.

Perhaps move on and put yourself in a better position in case it happens again you will be prepared to point a finger with proof.


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