To be uncomfortable with neighbour having keys

(23 Posts)
rosiecam Fri 24-Jun-16 17:54:35

We recently (April) moved into a rented house on a private let (no agent). It used to be the landlady Mrs L's home but she now lives 15 miles away in poor health. We needed some work done and I discovered the neighbour across the road has keys to the house. I must have looked shocked because neighbour explained this is mostly so she can let decorators, cleaners etc in and out between tenancies, although she has done it during tenancies too with prior agreement. She also said she would return keys to Mrs L if we are not comfortable with her having them.

I'm not comfortable at all but DH says (a) if she doesn't have keys one of us will have to take time off work for repairs and (b) she seems alright from little we know of her and (c) if we make her send keys back, Mrs L would probably give them to somebody else that we don't even know.

My point is this lady lives directly opposite, does not work and even if not sitting staring out the window all the time, she is bound to notice if we are packing up car and DC to go away for a weekend or whatever. So she would see the coast was clear to nip over and have a nose around either from curiousity or to report back to Mrs L. She seems the "kind but nosy" type to me.

Tenancy agreement drawn up by Mrs L's solicitor says we cannot change locks without giving new key to Mrs L. The neighbour would probably notice this being done too.

I want to tell Mrs L we don't want anyone but her having keys while we live here but DH says IABU...?

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Fri 24-Jun-16 17:57:54

Change the lock.

Change it back when you leave.

rosiecam Fri 24-Jun-16 17:59:18

But then we are breaking the terms of our lease.

acasualobserver Fri 24-Jun-16 18:00:17

Install hidden cameras.

rosiecam Fri 24-Jun-16 18:01:57

Haha yes I like that one acasualobserver. Will suggest to DH grin

MidnightRunner87 Fri 24-Jun-16 18:02:45

Put a chain on the door which requires a key lock to open it-you're not changing the locks, merely making it more secure and no one but the ones with a key will be able to bypass it (unless they break it open!)

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Fri 24-Jun-16 18:05:27

I expect the lease is already broken if randoms have access to your home and belongings.

Imnotaslimjim Fri 24-Jun-16 18:05:57

Does it say in the lease that you can't change your locks? If not, you can change them as long as you change it back once you leave

rosiecam Fri 24-Jun-16 18:05:59

I don't remember the exact way it is worded but I'm sure we can't install any locks without giving the owner a key.

rosiecam Fri 24-Jun-16 18:09:46

King yes if we catch her on camera LOL.

TheWordOfBagheera Fri 24-Jun-16 18:14:16

Could you say that it doesn't work with your home insurance policy? You wouldn;t want it invalidated by a neighbour being a keyholder...

rosiecam Fri 24-Jun-16 18:16:11

TheWord would anyone believe that though? Lots of people give their neighbours keys, presumably it doesn't invalidate their home insurance (or does it??)

TheWordOfBagheera Fri 24-Jun-16 18:31:27

Well a quick google brought this up so I'd say it's a good enough reason:

www.confused.com/home-insurance/articles/how-keys-can-invalidate-your-home-insurance-policy

carefreeeee Fri 24-Jun-16 20:34:17

Maybe you are being a little paranoid? Can't see that it's any different to the landlord having the key - they also might come round for a nosy. Presumably the usual rules apply and 24 hours notice should be given if she is actually going to use the key. It might turn out very useful for her to have the key if you ever lock yourself out.

But, if you are really worried, could you leave a booby trap - eg. a bucket of water balanced over a door - next time you go away?

elodie2000 Fri 24-Jun-16 20:48:46

What do you think she will do? Take things from your home? If she does, you will know exactly who is responsible. I doubt very much this will be a problem. Ask your LL to guarantee that she will not enter without your permission.

rosiecam Fri 24-Jun-16 21:02:32

Thanks all, maybe I will leave it a bit and see how we get on with her. DH thinks I am paranoid. I don't think she would steal anything, just don't like the idea of someone nosing around. Not sure about a bucket of water but I might leave a thread across a door or something to show whether somebody has been in when we go away.

seastargirl Fri 24-Jun-16 21:18:01

Get a wireless alarm system fitted (we got one from b and q for about 250, sold it on for 200 after leaving), we had one at a rented property and didn't provide the code to anyone, we just left the alarm off if someone had to come out for maintenance and we weren't in. Neighbour will see the alarm going on in and know she can't access the house.

ImperialBlether Fri 24-Jun-16 21:18:35

I've just looked at the nanny cams and their batteries only seem to last a number of hours. In your situation I would either install a burglar alarm or find a nanny cam that plugs in. It's horrible to think of someone in your house.

sizeofalentil Fri 24-Jun-16 21:21:19

For around £30 per month you can get a fancy burglar alarm system that monitors your house/ let's you monitor it from your phone.

She might have the key but if you get an alarm she can't access without your knowing or say so.

The alarm we have is designed not to be triggered by pets btw. So even if you have animals it would be fine.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 24-Jun-16 21:50:11

I have a friend that works for a security company that fits these camera systems. They are movement triggered and automatically alert you via the app on your phone so you can watch in real time if someone enters your property. You could probably record it too.

AntiHop Fri 24-Jun-16 22:08:24

I don't think you're being paranoid. That would really bother me.

Sunsetplumset Sat 25-Jun-16 01:16:49

I agree with hidden cameras but in general no I wouldn't be comfortable with this.

Some neighbour In my old area, one time my kitten went missing and I had to leave for work and she said to give her the keys and she will look out of the cat, I did think about it but glad I said no because she turned out to be a really pathetic petty weirdo that I had to move because of her.

Pearlman Sat 25-Jun-16 07:38:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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