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Updated by Mark Gibbons on Jan 27, 2017
Headline for Should You Change the Locks on your Rented Property?
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Mark Gibbons Mark Gibbons
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Should You Change the Locks on your Rented Property?

Out of the 65 million people and over 26 million households in the UK, HMRC reports that there are more than 1.75 million landlords. The rise in the number of rented properties allows for more affordable living costs for many people who cannot afford to buy a house, as well as greater flexibility. However, what many tenants don’t know is that landlords do not legally have to change the locks when new tenants move in.

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Lock Changes - What the statistics say

In fact research has found that a significant percentage of landlords do not change the locks on their properties even if they haven’t had all the keys returned.

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Is your security at risk?

Is your security at risk?

If you’ve recently moved into a property where the locks haven’t been changed, and you’re unsure as to whether previous tenants handed in their keys, you’re potentially putting yourself at a serious security risk. Not only do you not know who the previous tenants were and whether they’d be likely to try to enter the property again, but they may have had keys cut for their family or friends.

This makes unwanted entry, damage to the property or burglary easier, and any theft may not be covered by your insurance. Some insurance companies won’t penalise tenants who have suffered from theft from a previous tenant gaining access. The tenant will most likely not be aware of the risk or whether previous keys were collected by the landlord or not. However, it’s important to check your responsibilities on your lease agreement. If you’re unsure, ask your landlord before you sign to give you peace of mind.

Your landlord should action their responsibility to provide a reasonable degree of security, and if there is a potential security risk, their insurance may also be compromised.

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So can you change the locks on your rental property?

Since a tenancy is an 'estate in land', you 'own' the property for the duration of your rental agreement. This means that you could potentially change the locks yourself, though your landlord will also need a copy to gain access for maintenance, emergencies and inspections.

However again, you’ll need to check your lease agreement. Some landlords may not give you permission to change the locks without written consent, or you may have to cover the costs of replacing the locks and keys yourself. Do ask your landlord or agent though as they may cover the costs for you.

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Lock changes for West Midlands properties

Lock changes for West Midlands properties

Chubb Locksmiths is an emergency locksmith providing a range of specialist locksmith and security services across Sutton Coldfield and the West Midlands. We provide lock changes for:

● New homes and rental properties - giving you peace of mind that only you and the right people will have access to your property.
● Lost or stolen keys - we provide fast, 24/7 lock replacement with no call out fee. We’ll be on hand straight away to keep your property secured and safe from security threats.
● Upgrading your locks - if you locks are worn, damaged or you need an upgrade, we’ll install high quality, industry standard locks to adequately protect your property.

To find out more about our services or for any lock changes, please contact us on 0121 353 3644 today.

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Worried about House Sharing?

With more people across the UK house sharing, and landlords turning large properties into Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs), the risk to your security could be increased.

Read our blog on how house sharing is changing home security to ensure you know what to do to keep yourself safe.