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Should you change your locks when moving house?

18th September 2017

What do they say are the most stressful times of a person’s life again? I seem to recall they included getting married or divorced, dealing with a loved one’s death, moving house, and discovering there are no Twix bars left when you could have sworn there was at least one, and who’s been stealing all my Twixes again? I’ll just be talking about one of these today anyway – I’ll give you a clue, it’s not the marriage/divorce topic nor is it the death thing, and unfortunately it’s also not the Twix issue as that’s still too painful to talk about. 

Moving house then. Many of us have done it, and as Shakespeare might have once said, it’s a right paineth in the posterior. So many things to sort – estate agents, solicitors, mortgages or rent, gas, electricity, telephone, internet, the list goes on and on and is as appealing as the prospect of being the chief nuclear tester for Kim Jong Un after a failed missile launch. In amongst all these tasks there are to do, the issue of security and locks may understandably get missed. However, I’m here to remind you that it should be foremost in your mind when renting or buying a new house, especially the question of whether or not you should immediately change the locks.

Make your new home more secure

You’ll know from experience how many sets of keys can be floating around for your house. How do we know when moving into a new house that these have all been accounted for? Although in legal terms, when contracts are signed, it is required that the past owners or tenants must give up all sets of keys to the new owners or renters, can we be certain this has actually happened and a set has not been left out, whether deliberately or accidentally?  What if a set is in the hands of an unsavoury character or two?

Sadly, homes are frequently broken into by people known to the previous owners. After all, it’s a pretty convenient way in to burglary – no need for smashed windows and doors – simply let yourself in, and if the alarm code also hasn’t been changed, all the better. This is a major worry, both for the safety of yourself, the new owner, and also for the security of your property. 

Given these factors, I would always recommend that one of your first actions on taking ownership or rental of a new property is to arrange to have the locks changed. As owners, this is in your hands, and as renters, you are perfectly within your rights to request that the owner changes the locks between tenants.  It may also be that the locks are old and not up to the latest security regulations, in which case you can also use this as a bargaining tool with your new landlord. 

Remember that a house generally has more than one entry point. There is no use insisting on a change of locks on the front door, but forgetting about the garage door or side entrance. Keys to any of these locks could be floating about out there.  If you have a fairly flimsy up and over garage door, don’t forget to concentrate on the door between the garage and your house, if there is one. 

Enlist the help of a Barnsley locksmith

As an owner, you might want to save money and attempt to try to change the locks yourself. However, this can often just add to the many stresses you’ll be under after moving into a new house. Experience has shown me that this route can lead to a call to the emergency locksmith anyway due to broken mechanisms. In the long run it’ll save time and quite possibly money  to get a professional locksmith to do the job first time around. We fit locks every day, so you can rest assured the job will get done quickly and efficiently, leaving you one less thing to worry about as you enjoy settling in to your new home. 

I know I still haven’t given you any tips to make the absence of a Twix more bearable but, be fair, I’m not a miracle worker. What I CAN do is offer advice on anything to do with lock replacement or repairs – give me a call on 07990 573857



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