74% of Britons Admit They Didn’t Change the Locks after Their Last Move

Experts have confirmed that buying or selling a house is one of life’s major stresses. An in-depth study of 2000 adults commissioned earlier this year by Estatesdirect.com discovered a large percentage found the hassles of moving home were greater than the tensions experienced when losing a job, becoming a parent or planning a wedding.

Certainly moving home has its anxious moments. You find a house and have a buyer for your flat and that is often the easiest part. Buying and selling at the same time often means that you have to deal with two sets of estate agents, two sets of solicitors and different lenders. Issues may come up with the paperwork which could derail the whole process. You don’t want to get too attached to the place you are buying in case everything falls through .On the other hand you worry about your new home as it is the biggest purchase of your life- yet you have only seen it once and you would have spent longer deliberating over what shoes to buy. And then there is the packing up, the actual removal , the unpacking and looking for the kettle.

In the midst of all this with so much to organise and remember it is easy to overlook some important tasks, chief among which is getting your locks changed when you move into your new property. A recent survey by Keytec Locksmiths has shown that less than 30% of homeowners change their locks after moving home potentially leaving them vulnerable to break-ins by other keyholders.

There is little doubt that a home insurance claim may be at risk of being turned down if a spare set of keys was used by a previous owner or tradesman to commit burglary as generally speaking there must be clear signs of breaking and entering in order for a claim to be valid. And it is also not just the insurance implications to think about –there is also the possibility that you could be putting yourself and your family in danger as even if you completely trust the sellers there really is no telling how many sets of keys they have given to friends and relatives or lost over the years and forgotten about.

According to Home Office statistics you are almost twice as likely to be broken into in the first year after moving house and nearly three times as likely in comparison to occupiers who have been in their house for over 10 years and although the Office of National Statistics shows the number of recorded burglaries has been gradually falling year on year for the past decade, nonetheless it is one of the most commonly recorded crimes.

Compared to the overall cost of buying a property the cost of changing locks is likely to be very modest and can provide security and peace of mind. With so many expenses and arrangements to think about in any house move it is hardly surprising that home security is not always prioritised in the way it should be. As said before for most people buying a house is the largest purchase they will ever make so it seems sensible to spend a few more pounds just for the peace of mind of knowing who has a key to it.

What do you think? Did you get the locks changed after your last move?

This entry was posted in In The News by Alison Gourley. Bookmark the permalink.

About Alison Gourley

Alison graduated from Edinburgh University School of Law in 1991. She joined Mitchells Roberton in 1996 and became an Associate thereafter. Alison specialises in both commercial and residential conveyancing, advising individuals, large and small businesses, banks, charities and further education institutions on all property transactions. Having 20 years experience in property law Alison has developed excellent relationships with surveyors, independent financial advisers and banks so is ready to act swiftly and effectively to meet her clients’ needs in an ever changing property market. She enjoys getting to know her clients and is committed to giving them an efficient service and is always friendly and approachable. She is also involved with the marketing aspects of the firm and is the solicitor in the office who trains the conveyancing paralegals. Alison is married to a photographer and has one child. In her free moments she likes to keep fit. She is a talented amateur artist and loves nature and the great outdoors.

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