Charge for lock replacement

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    Charge for lock replacement

    Hi all,

    Within a few weeks of moving into a new property, I was having issues with the front door locks where the key would just not open the door (it is definitely the correct key). It would take maybe 10-15 mins of jiggling the key to finally get the door open. This didn't occur too often but often enough to raise it with my landlord as an issue.

    The landlord (they are an organisation who run a scheme that provide housing for lower than market rate prices but higher than council housing - in the middle) sent someone out but we couldn't replicate the issue at the time so he just sprayed some WD-40.

    After that, the lock was acting a lot worse. The issue described in the first paragraph was regularly occuring now.

    At some point, I put the key into the lock (from the inside) to lock the door but the key got stuck. I told the landlord who called a contractor and replaced the lock (and did so quite quickly I'll give them that).

    The next day, I get a call from the landlord saying I will be charged for the lock change as the contractors notified them to tell them the key got stuck because it was the wrong key.

    I have pictures showing what key was actually stuck and can say for certain it was the correct key. The key that was stuck can only be confused for the keys to the second interior door, which have no engaging at all.

    There are more details to this but I will skip some of it and maybe add it later if necessary.

    At the start of the tenancy, I was given 4 keys: 2 for the front door and 2 for the second interior door. I now only have 3 (excluding the new keys for the new lock). It's clear one of the keys match up with the pictures of the key stuck in the door while the other 2 are non-engraved keys. I actually ended up sending them a video showing them the non-engraved keys open the second interior door and couldn't possibly open the first.

    After sending my evidence and reasoning, I haven't heard from them (it's been over a week) and I tried to get in contact with multiple people through multiple ways (email, phone).

    What are my options here if they decide to ignore the evidence? I am very keen to get through this year and renew my contract for a much longer contract as I want to stay here long term but I am conflicted with being bullied like this - I am unsure of what to do and could really use any help/guidance.

    Thanks all



    #2
    I think this is more a case of bureaucracy than bullying and I think it might be better, if you are on a probationary tenancy, to not make waves.

    Are these Yale type keys (pin tumbler)? I'm not sure how a Yale key that actually fitted the key way could get stuck in the lock, even if it had the wrong bitting.

    I'm not sure what you mean by engraved. Do you mean they have some identification on them, or do you mean that they are duplicate keys.

    The sort of problem you initially described is typical of using duplicate keys, cut by mechanically following the profile of the original key. These days, a good locksmith may actually have machines that read the bitting on the key and generates a new key to the original specification. Obviously you need to start with a key that is close enough to the correct one that it can be read correctly.

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      #3
      Correct, the keys have some sort of identification on them.

      It seems to me there was an issue with the lock in the first place. The thing is, I was able to insert the key and turn it which allowed me to unlock the door - without removing the key, the key got stuck and the key can be seen to not be in the 12 o clock position, so I can't see how an incorrect key would turn the lock.

      The issue I described with taking about 10-15 minutes to unlock the door was the same for both keys, and these are the original keys (the keys that came with the lock).

      "I think this is more a case of bureaucracy than bullying and I think it might be better, if you are on a probationary tenancy, to not make waves." - I mean, it's so easy to prove the key that was stuck is actually the correct key. Do you still suggest I just accept their charges? Bear in mind I've only just moved in and I reported issues with the lock quite promptly.

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