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Did you change the locks when you bought your house?

91 replies

AreWeHavingFunYet · 28/05/2012 14:56

We have just bought a new house.

A few people have suggested to me that we should change the locks as it is impossible to tell who has extra keys that haven't been passed on.

However it is another expense and I'm not sure if it's worth it.

Is it normal to change the locks when you move?

OP posts:
sereneswan · 28/05/2012 15:13

I would always change locks.

Poledra · 28/05/2012 15:15

Not in this house, but we did instal a burglar alarm Grin

It's good practice to change the locks though.

SquirtedPerfumeUpNoseInBoots · 28/05/2012 15:16

Yes definitely.

GleamingHeels · 28/05/2012 15:21

I am about to move and will definitely be changing the locks - I haven't read any research or recommendations about why it's a good idea, but I will feel much more secure.

AreWeHavingFunYet · 28/05/2012 15:21

Thanks for the responses.

I will get them changed asap.

OP posts:
Melindaaa · 28/05/2012 15:23

No, never. We've bought four houses and have never changed the locks. Never been an issue.

AreWeHavingFunYet · 28/05/2012 15:24

GleamingHeels I think I will probably feel more secure too actually.

We have been renting for quite a while and I have got used to landlords, agents etc etc all having keys. It isn't something I have had the luxury of considering before.

I need to do some research on locks now Smile

OP posts:
fannybaws · 28/05/2012 15:26

Yes but you can buy them at a hardware shop and fit them yourself, much much cheaper.
Just make sure you buy like for like so the holes are all the same.

Rhubarbgarden · 28/05/2012 15:31

We didn't. A couple of months after we moved in, I locked myself out. I knocked on the neighbour's door on the offchance they had a spare key, and they did - it was very convenient and I was glad we hadn't got around to changing the locks!

BiddyPop · 28/05/2012 15:34

You can just change the barrel part rather than having to change the whole thing, and it is generally easy enough for you or DH to do it yourself. We got a decent replacement chubb for ours, and a new back door lock, when we moved and I don't recall it being one of the massive expenses.

Milliways · 28/05/2012 15:37

No - previous owners were terrified of our huge dog Grin

We moved very locally and our old neighbours phoned us once as alarm in old house was going and new neighbours out, one of the codes we gave them still worked! (We did give them the manual and tell them how to change, and we changed 2 most regularly used codes to 0000 for them as we wanted to re-use codes at new house. )

Frontpaw · 28/05/2012 15:38

Definately. The place had been rented out to some 'interesting' people.

moonbells · 28/05/2012 15:40

We bought a house which had previously belonged to a locksmith. After a bit of Hmm we did change things.

We put lockable deadbolts on the back door and patio door and changed the deadlock on the front. Admittedly all wooden doors so we could use huge long security screws too.

(Lockable deadbolts are great. You can bolt the door with a 1cm bolt then take the key out...)

PigletJohn · 28/05/2012 15:54

Certainly you must, including the back door and garage.

If you have a "yale" type nightlatch the cylinder can be changed in minutes if you have a screwdriver. You can buy plenty of spare keys at the same time. Eurocylinders similarly easy, but measure thje length required (there should be no stump of the cylinder sticking out than can be grabbed using a tool)

Mortice deadlocks (often called a "Chubb") can be changed equally quickly, provided you look at the old one and buy the same brand/model (different makes are slightly different sizes)

It is important to have at least one British Standard lock, that you actually use, on the final exit door, and mortice rack bolts (that you can lock from inside) on all the other doors. The Union BS deadlock was a Which Best buy and better than some at ten times the price.

The Chubb name is no longer used due to expiry of the licence on the brand name.

If your old locks are not BS then your new one might not be quite the same size, and some chisel work might be needed. You can get BS nightlatches that are the same as the useless old yale type, but you will need a drill and chisel to fit the larger staple.

You household insurance is almost certain to require BS locks.

PigletJohn · 28/05/2012 16:00

You can get BS nightlatches that are the same size as the useless old yale type

I meant.

xkcdfangirl · 28/05/2012 16:18

We did - as BiddyPop says you can just get the barrels changed rather than the whole thing - we got a locksmith to do it rather than doing it ourselves, but on the scale of moving expenses it is really very minimal and a very sensible precaution - if you get burgled and haven't changed the locks you could find your insurance isn't valid!

DowagersHump · 28/05/2012 16:21

No, I didn't but I know the family who lived here before and they put all new doors and windows on so no one else would have keys

DowagersHump · 28/05/2012 16:22

And I've never changed the locks in any property I've bought, have been burgled a couple of times and my insurers never mentioned it. It was fairly obvious though, that the burglars didn't have a key Hmm

Ragwort · 28/05/2012 16:28

No, never even thought of doing it Blush - I must be very trusting. Have moved house 7-8 times and it has never been a problem. The things you find out about on Mumsnet Grin.

However, make sure you check all the keys before completing your purchase; our previous owner did not leave keys for the garage, they swore they had, we couldn't 'prove' it and had to put new locks on the garage as there were just no keys at all.

AreWeHavingFunYet · 28/05/2012 17:00

PigletJohn thanks for the detailed post

I know nothing about locks so your explanation is really helpful.

I think I'll check with our insurers what their minimum standards for locks are just to be sure we get the right thing.

It would be very annoying to change the locks then not be insured if someone did break in Confused

OP posts:
AreWeHavingFunYet · 28/05/2012 17:08

Thanks to everyone for all the advice/ideas etc. It's all really helpful

I think DH is going to try to change the locks himself.

Ragwort I would never have thought of doing it either but a few people have mentioned it so I thought I'd ask on here. Grin

OP posts:
MrsBucketxx · 28/05/2012 17:12

i never have im just trusting, have insurance, and an alarm.

MousyMouse · 28/05/2012 17:15

would def change.
are renting atm but even then have always changed locks. makes insurance cheaper also if no third party holds keys.

Pannacotta · 28/05/2012 18:36

Yes we did. We have bought three houses and this is the only one where we have changed the locks after moving in.
I didnt trust the previous owner and he had rented out rooms in the house so I felt it was safer to do so.

PigletJohn · 28/05/2012 22:51

MrsBucketxx i never have im just trusting

You might find that your insurers will not pay out if there is no sign of forced entry. I hear that sometimes happens when cylinders have (probably) been bumped.

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