METCALF MOVING BLOG

March 13, 2020

Changing the Locks on a New House: Why It’s Important and How to Do It

Changing the locks on your new home is vital for the safety and protection of your family and belongings. 

 Keep reading to discover why replacing the locks as soon as possible on your new home is so important.

Why Should You Change the Locks?

When you move into a new home, you don’t know how many keys are out there floating around. This can present a security risk to you and your family. Changing the locks renders any key to the previous lock useless. 

While this won’t guarantee to prevent a burglary, it does prevent someone from unlocking and walking right in. This reduces the potential for a crime of opportunity. 

Replace or Rekey

Both of these methods prevent old keys from successfully opening your doors. If you replace the locks, then the entire existing lock and handle get replaced.

Having a lock rekeyed means that the pins inside of the lock get aligned so that they match a new key. This is the most common method used in apartment complexes. You can buy a kit and do it yourself or hire a professional locksmith to do it for you. 

Buying a Home 

Changing the locks should be on your new home move-in checklist after you purchase an existing or newly built home. 

With an existing home, which has had prior families living in it, you don’t know how many copies of the key might be out there. As the new owner, it’s your responsibility to have the locks changed. 

A newly built home had several contractors, inspectors, and real estate agents coming and going. All of these people had access to the keys at some point. You should check your sale contracts as it’s typically a part of the process and the responsibility of the builder to change the locks. 

Schedule the Lock Change Ahead of Time

Make a lock changing appointment with a professional locksmith ahead of time. This will save you time and money. 

By calling ahead, it gives the locksmith time to prepare new locks and to cut the new keys before coming to your home to replace your old locks. Getting the locks and keys ready ahead of time at the shop is quicker and, sometimes, less expensive than doing the work on-site.

Renters 

Check your lease and your state’s landlord-tenant law. Some states require that the landlord change the locks between each tenant. Other states make it optional.

Some landlords specifically mention changing the locks as a part of the lease agreement. You shouldn’t be responsible for this cost, but the landlord can be held accountable if it doesn’t happen. 

You should also check your lease if you want to change the locks yourself. Some leases require the landlord to do it. Other leases will let you change the lock, but you must provide the landlord with a new working key. 

Prioritize Changing the Locks

Give you and your family peace of mind by changing the locks as soon as you move into your new home. If you can, it’s best to do this before the movers arrive so you can secure your property as soon as it’s delivered. 

Contact us today and let our moving team help you with your move. Let us focus on the move so you can focus on getting your new home ready.

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