Lockbox Mishaps

I was looking after a condo listed in downtown Toronto. All keys were located in lockboxes on a nearby fence at the property line. There were about 30 lockboxes of various styles and colours. The keys and keyfob were obtainable with standard showing instructions. After several days, an agent called to say that our keys no longer worked. We contacted the last two agents that showed the property. Because the showing times coincided, one agent gave the keys to the other agent at the fence. He mixed the keys up, and put them in the wrong lockboxes after showing the units. He corrected the problem, and apologized for his mistake. The next day another agent called to say our keys did not work. Now, I had to go downtown to check on this.

I booked showings for two other units in the same price range, with the standard lockbox instructions, because I thought that my keys may have been placed in the wrong lockbox again. Both offices said they were, also, having lockbox problems. I found my all-white lockbox with my keys in it. But the keyfob was gone (another $75.00), and now my all-white lockbox had become white with a black front. I opened the other 2 lockboxes, took the keys and inspected the properties. I was unable to open one condo unit as the key did not work. I returned the keys, but I couldn't open one lockbox. So, now, I re-opened the three lockboxes again...after working my way through all the lockboxes on the fence (most were unmarked, or poorly identified). Now, I ended up with 4 sets of keys. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? I realized that one of the lockboxes that I first opened really had not been properly closed, and I took out the wrong keys by mistake, and then, closed the lockbox. Of course, all of this was happening during a pouring rain.

Finally, I returned three sets of keys to the proper lockboxes, and the fourth set of keys to the concierge...because I had no way of knowing which lockbox or company the fourth set of keys belonged to.

None of this would have happened if all lockboxes had some kind of non-removable identification on them. And, no keys could be mixed up if each individual set of keys was properly identified. Fortunately, my keys did. Even so, it is still hard to understand how any agent can mix up the two parts of a lockbox, especially if the colours don't match, and how any agent can fail to properly close a lockbox.

Perhaps, we need a one-hour credit course on this.

Randy Corcoran

Randy Corcoran

CENTURY 21 Heritage Group Ltd., Brokerage*
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