Costs to landlord as a result of a break in

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    I asked the tenant why they had to call a Locksmith out, was the lock broken? and the response i got was the locksmith was called out as the friend was scared they person who was trying to break in would come back so it was to protect them and the flat more. The lock was not broken but the friend felt unsafe and the locksmith said to make the outside lock safer it would cost more so they put in an extra lock on the inside and went with the cheapest option. She also said the friend went to the police the next day. This is why we are confused. If the lock was physically broken due to a break in then we would have no problem paying out for the repair as of course we want our property to have a door that locks and be safe.

    Also, the tenant is saying that they told us that the lock was unsafe before the break-in but we did nothing about it. The tenant messaged us a month before the break in and told us that the lock on the door was not closing properly (not broken but just not safely closing), we went down and fixed the problem, the lock just needed be tightened. We told them that if she had any further problems then to get in touch. We had not heard from the Tenants until now regarding the break in and now we are being accused of not doing anything about unsafe door when we were not told there was a problem with the door again.


      Hi all

      Ok so i got a more detailed email from the T today. The T basically said it was their sister staying at the flat whilst they were on holiday. As there has been trouble in the area the sister had put a buggie behind the door and locked it and when to sleep. In the morning when she was off to work she saw the door open (only held by the chain lock on the inside) and the buggie had moved further back. She was on her way to work but was scared to go back home. so after work she went to the police station to report what had happen and hoping someone would go home with her to check it the home was safe and no one had let themselves in during the day. They had no cars but advised her to make the door safer and gave her a number for a locksmith. She called until she found one that could come out straightway charing £95 for labour and £25 for the lock. The locksmith opened the door and checked it was safe to enter and then advised her that the door was not safe and that there are a lot of breaking in the area. He put the cheapest lock on, on the in side of the door at a total of £120 cost which now the T wants us to pay for.

      What do we do? What i do not understand is if the sister was scared that someone may break in again then why not just get an extra lock put on the outside (i understand they went for the cheapest option but it doesn't make sense). They had a chain lock on the inside.

      When i asked the T why we were not contacted prior to the locksmith they said they did not leave our number with the sister and it would have taken us more then half an hour to get to them. We were told about this all 8 days after the incident once the T's arrived back from their holiday. Also, If the sister was at work the day after and didn't not call the locksmith out until the after work they could have contacted us and we could have been there before the sister finished worked and got the door looked at and an additional lock put on the outside of the door for extra safety. We just do not understand where we stand with this situation. any help would be great - thanks


        What type of lock was fitted, yale or lever?
        Why did you not contact locksmith post event for clearer explanation?
        Has T paid locksmith and passed the bill to you/
        Ts are resp for their guests, their fault for not leaving your tel no in case of emergency.
        Given the history, I think I would expect T to pay, at least for the call out charge.
        The problem could have been solved by fitting 2 slide bolts inside door, top & bottom for when occupied.
        If lock was not broken, nothing for you to repair. Locksmith engaged by Ts (guest) and improvements not requested in advance.
        s21 time?


          If nothing was broken then LL has nothing to repair. There's no minimum security that the LL is obliged to provide, so it looks as though T has chosen to act to improve security under their own initiative and is therefore fully responsible for the costs associated with it. If T wanted LL to improve security at LLs cost, the right course would have been to ask LL, who would still not be under any obligation, but would at least have a choice in how to improve security if desired IMHO.



            More or less what I was going to say.


              We have not been advised on what type of lock but i am sure it is on the receipt and we were not told about the issue until 8 days after it took place.

              Thank you for the advise, it has helped


                Thank you. This has really helped. We thought we weren't responsible but need to be clear on the rules/laws.

                thanks again. We are getting someone to go in and put an additional lock on the outside of the main door this week. This is for additional safety but not because the lock is broken. We already offered the T £40 towards the locksmith bill out of good gesture, again not because we feel we are responsible but they are still insisting that we should pay the whole bill. I we won't be doing that especially as the additional lock is going to cost £80 to get fitted.

                Thank you again


                  They seem like OK tenants.
                  Leaving some one in the property when they're away (who seems to have prevented a break in).

                  I agree that you are not really liable for anything at all.
                  If they are good long term tenants I'd go halves with them.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


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