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Keys and Locks: Residential Buildings

Effective Date: July 1, 2007 

Policy Statement

This policy summarizes the procedures for installing, supplying, securing and maintaining keys and locks for apartments and residential buildings owned and managed by Columbia University Facilities.   This policy does not apply to undergraduate residence halls and fraternity buildings.  Residents in these buildings should refer to the student Guide to Living.  Although procedures may vary from building to building, this policy outlines the requirements that are basic to every building and apartment.  The policy is organized according to the phases of occupancy as follows: initial move-in, maintenance during occupancy, and vacancy.

Reasons for the Policy

This policy is in place to support cooperation between the University and residents in providing and maintaining a safe and secure housing environment.  Keys and locks are the most critical component in providing University residents with a secure home.  The policy outlines the University's responsibilities, as building owner and manager, to maintain a secure building and apartment.  Residents and the University community are also informed of their responsibilities to support these efforts.  The policy will also inform residents of possible charges they may incur for lost keys, lockouts, etc.

Primary Guidance to Which This Policy Responds

This policy is guided by and complies with the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law and the New York City Housing Maintenance Code.  It is also modeled after standard practice within the property management industry in New York.

Responsible University Office and Officer

Columbia University Facilities is responsible for the maintenance of this policy and for responding to questions and concerns related to locks and keys in residential spaces.  The Assistant Vice President for Residential Operations is the Responsible Officer.  Questions related to a specific building should be directed to the appropriate superintendent or Director for Residential Services.

Revision History

There is currently no revision history for this policy

Who is Governed by This Policy

Employees (and contractors) of Columbia University Facilities who are responsible for maintaining the safety and security of residential buildings and apartments are governed by this policy.  This includes building superintendents, building staff, office staff, Directors for Residential Services, and project managers that work for University Apartment Housing and Residential Services.  In addition, residents living in University buildings and their guests are governed by this policy.

Who Should Know This Policy

Senior Executive Officers, Vice Presidents, Directors, Project Managers, Senior Administrative Officers, Leasing Administrators and staff, Building and Grounds Personnel, and contractors that manage, supervise, lease, or otherwise do work in University residential properties must know this policy.  Residents living in University buildings and their guests should be familiar with this policy.

Exclusions and Special Situations

Security procedures and policies vary from building to building and this policy is not designed to define these differences.  Different types of keys are used in different buildings, for example.  Also, in some buildings, door attendants or security guards provide security that is otherwise provided by a locking entrance door.  This policy outlines common requirements that are basic to every building and apartment.  Residents should contact their superintendent or Director for Residential Services with any questions.

This policy does not apply to undergraduate residence halls and fraternity buildings.  Residents in these buildings should refer to the student Guide to Living for policies related to keys and locks in those buildings.

See Full Policy Text


Responsible Officer - Mark Kerman, Assistant Vice President of Residential Operations, (212) 854-9301,

Directors for Residential Services

Nelson Falcon, (212) 854-9301

Ed Lauth, (212) 854-9301

Kevin Padgett, (212) 749-2111

Cathleen Ryder, (212) 854-9301