Changing the locks - who pays

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    Changing the locks - who pays

    Our rented flat was burgled last week and there are no signs of forced entry or entry of any kind.

    This led us to believe that someone else out there must have a set of keys to our flat. As such we phoned the managing agent who said he would need to speak to the owner before commiting to paying for this and indicated the owner could just say we misplaced our keys. (which we didnt!)

    When the police and forensics officers visited the flat they recommended changing the lock and also fitting a Chubb lock as the only lock on the door at present is a Yale lock which are apparently easy for criminals to unlock.

    We changed the Yale lock straight away at our own expense and now need to get a Chubb lock fitted as our house is currently a sitting duck and we are worried the criminals could come back anytime while we are out.

    The managing agent as usual has said they cannot give approval and have tried contacting the owner but can't get hold of him(they never can, it always takes 2 weeks to get an answer on anything!). They have however said they don't think he will pay for either lock. I really don't think this is fair as the house is currently unsafe to live in and possibly un-insurable!

    What rights do we have to insist the landlord pays for the lock change and fitting? Or do we have none at all ?


    You can change the locks anyway, but put the old one(s) back when you leave and take the new one(s) with you. Then you will have a spare if ever you need to do this again. If you suspect the landlord has a key then that might be a different matter.

    You can make a written request to your agent to provide you with L's name & address and they must reply within 21 days otherwise they are committing a criminal offence. Then you can write to L yourself.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


      Well I have had to repossess a number of times and you would be amazed how locksmiths get in. One used the cardboard backing of the new lock and a little trick of the trade and we were in.

      You do have rights about doing repairs on notice and this is a useful link.
      Kudos to Mrs Mug I think for putting this in earlier somewhere.

      Or write to the landlord and explain the situation the agent was unable to get you and we would like to agree a solution.

      One option is too simply take the locks with you when you leave and refit the old ones and make good.

      Or write it off to experience and hand in your keys when you go.
      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


        You may be able to get your local councils Environmental Health Officer involved as their "Housing Health and Safety Rating System" includes the security of a property as part of the assessment on being uninhabitable or not.

        If the property fulfils the criterea of being uninhabitable then you may have a claim against the landlord for breach of contract.

        Both of the above are a bit drastic - but may be useful ammo to encourage action from the landlord.


          You were quite right to change locks immediately.

          You have my sympathy: Out of habit I always change main front-door locks for a new tenant just-in-case.. Stone me, it's only £50ish....

          Hope they catch the little b*****r. Any dabs??


          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


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