Did you know that, according to Confused.com, 58% of people don’t change the locks when they move into a new home?
We find that to be an absolutely shocking statistic and changing the locks really should be a top priority when you move in to any new home or office.
You may well have lots of things to consider, it’s a busy time after all, but you can’t afford to let this one slip your mind. Let’s have a look why it is so important to change the locks when you move into a new home.
Is it really worth the risk not to?
In short, no it is not. Changing your front and back door locks should be one of the first jobs you get done when you move in. Think about it this way: a home is the thing that you’ll probably spend the most money on in your lifetime and it houses you and your family which are your most priceless commodity; do you really want to take the risk that someone else has keys and therefore access to your property?
We guess not.
But not only that. There are another number of good reasons to change your door locks when moving and one of them is for insurance purposes.
Not many people realise that not changing the locks can invalidate your home insurance.
You can have no idea how many sets of keys are in circulation; you can’t assume that they have all been accounted for and handed over with the purchase of the property. The landlord of a property only have to change the locks on a few occasions and in most cases if they don’t have to they won’t change the locks.
Learn more about the landlord – tenant law regarding changing locks in the UK.
If workmen or a cleaner used by the previous owner burgles your property using an old set of keys it can mean any insurance claim would be invalidated if the insurer finds out. And trust insurance companies to know their game.
The vast majority of insurance companies insist of seeing evidence of forced entry before they even consider paying out on a claim; someone with a set of keys certainly will not meet this benchmark. Another thing they may ask for is some paperwork that shows your locks were actually changed when you move in. They will also verify that all your windows have locks on them so that’s a thing to consider regardless.
Another thing the most if not all home insurers will want to see evidence of is that you have specific British standard installed on your door.
British Standard Locks
The vast majority of insurance policies state explicitly that your locks must comply with the British Standard 3621. If your locks don’t comply with these standards it’s time to change them right away; if your property is an older one your locks are more likely to be non-compliant so be doubly vigilant in checking them.
Professional locksmiths can provide you with an advice on British Standard Locks for homes in London and the UK. Contact London 24 Hour locksmiths in Greater London or different locksmith companies in your local area to make sure you’re changing your locks with genuine British Standard locks that suits your actual needs.
The key considerations
We’re hoping by now that you can see or at least are starting to see the importance of changing the locks when you move into a new home. But if you still aren’t completely sold on the importance of this here are some other key considerations.
- How many previous occupants has your property had?
- Has it been rented out or rooms sublet before?
- When were the window locks last changed?
- Have keys ever been given to a cleaner?
- Have keys ever been given to a tradesman?
- Has another third party ever looked after the property?
- Has every set of keys categorically been collected and accounted for?
It is reasonable to accept that you may never know the answer to all of these questions; in light of this not changing your locks is a genuine risk. Just one unaccounted for key could lead to damage, theft or harm to your loved ones. Something that is obviously worth preventing at any cost.
Shared Access Properties
If your property has shared access it’s always a good move to have open dialogue worth your neighbours with regard to security concerns and measures. It’s good practice for locks to be changed at a shared property every five years. So speak to your neighbours and see if this has happened recently. You may need to liaise with a freeholder and it’s a good idea to engage with your freehold landlord early on in your relationship. It may be that you have to deal with an external management company so be sure to get their contact details and keep a record of conversations had.
Should you “DIY it” or hire a Locksmith?
Well, in short, you should hire a professional. Given what we’ve said previously in this article about how important it is to get security right on your property, the last thing that you want to do is fall at the final hurdle because of shoddy, haphazard workmanship.
Locks are relatively inexpensive pieces of kit, so paying a little extra for a qualified, quality locksmith to do the work for you really is not a huge expense. Changing a lock should normally cost around £100-150 all included (labour, locks, etc.). A locksmith can help you to avoid the cheap and nasty end of the lock market and ensure that you have appropriate kit installed; high quality rim and mortice deadlocks are normally the locks you should reach out for.
Don’t take any chances with your new home’s security; When you first move to a new property is the best time to sort out the replacement of your lock.
If you’d like to know more about the lock replacement process or looking for a London locksmith to help you with replacing locks at home, London 24 Hour Locksmiths is available to guide you further.
We can provide you with any information related to locksmithing, locks doors and home security services. Working as London Locksmiths for over a decade we are familiar with the Greater London area and the requirements involved with changing locks in London.
Contact our London Locksmiths 24/7 at 020 8123 8060.