Are you one of the 58% of people who don’t change the locks when you move into a new home?
Regardless of other priorities, you may have this is a vitally important step to take when moving into a new property. Here’s why changing the locks on a new house is important.
Do you really want to risk it?
Changing the locks on your front and back door should be one of the first things you do. Tick it off your moving home checklist early on.
You’ve invested a considerable amount of money into this property. You’ve moved your furniture, possessions and family and it will soon feel like home. Do you really want to risk someone else having a set of your house keys?
This could be the previous owner themselves, or someone they know. There could be multiple sets of keys in the hands of people you don’t know.
Not changing locks can invalidate your insurance
You should not assume that all the keys to your new house were handed back to the previous owner.
If you get burgled by someone who gains access with a key, it will invalidate your insurance claim.
A survey carried out by Halifax Home Insurance found that 12 million adults had lost their keys at least 6 times in the last 10 years – along with other key identification documents. The research found that these people hadn’t changed locks on their house.
Most insurance companies want to see evidence of forced entry before they pay out on a claim. Neglecting to change the locks means someone with an old key entering the property won’t count as a forced entry.
Your locks must conform to British Standard
Most insurance policies state your locks must conform to the British Standard 3621:2004. If this isn’t the case, it’s another vitally important reason to change them. This is particularly relevant for older properties.
Considerations to make about changing locks on your new house
Not yet sold on the importance of changing locks on a new house? Here are some key considerations to make:
- Do you know how many previous occupants your home has had?
- Has the property ever been rented to tenants?
- When did the window locks last change?
- Has anyone ever given a set of keys to a tradesman?
- Has anyone other than the owner ever looked after before?
- Have all the sets of keys been given back?
- Think about garage doors and windows
- Do you have the master key?
It’s unlikely you’ll know the answer to all of the above. Is it really worth taking a gamble on this? All it takes is for one unaccounted key to get into the wrong hands!
Lock changes for shared access properties
If you share access to your property and depending on the type of lock you have, it’s worthwhile talking to your neighbours about how secure locks your locks are to ensure the home security of all your homes.
It’s been recommended that home locks are changed every 5 years and you have a professional install them. If this hasn’t happened recently encourage the other residents to come on board, it might be as simple as rekeying the locks depending on the locking mechanism you have in place.
If you are a leaseholder speak to the management company about upgrades of new locks to any shared external doors.
Should you hire a locksmith or DIY?
You can hire a professional locksmith to install the locks for you. This can be a particularly good idea if you want to install more advanced security measures and lock systems.
If you are relatively DIY savvy it might be something you can manage. Good locks are readily available from local hardware or DIY shops. Depending on your level of skill, they can be quick to fit. While the cost of moving house can add up, the enhanced security and peace of mind is worth the small price tag and time investment.
Need a locksmith?
If DIY lock changing isn’t for you, get a quote from a local tradesperson.
Last Updated: January 19th, 2022