Should you change the locks when you buy a house?

Moving houses is chaotic enough as it is, but if there’s one thing you absolutely do need to prioritise, it’s changing the locks. Unless your beautiful new home is a new build, you can be sure that there are at least one set of your house keys in circulation somewhere in the world. Even if you’ve been handed the keys back by the home’s previous owners or occupants, there’s still a high chance that these keys had been duplicated at some point. That’s why it’s always good practice, no matter what, to get a new set of keys every time you move into a new home. 

Why should you change the locks when you buy a house?

The main reason why you should change your locks when you buy a new house comes down to security. When you move homes, you want to be sure that you’re the only one who has access to the property (as well as your friends, family, and other trusted personnel, of course). You can never be 100% sure that all copies of the keys had been returned by the previous occupants or tenants, and unfortunately, unforced entry into homes is more common than you might think. 

Rekeying vs Replacing locks

 

When you move into a new home and you’re looking at changing the locks, you have two options: you can either call your locksmith to rekey your property, or you can call your locksmith to replace all the locks. Rekeying is the more affordable option of the two. Your locksmith will replace your locks’ pins and screws to create a brand new key, rendering the original set of keys completely useless. It’s the easiest and most cost-effective solution out there for those looking for some extra security, and it’s also a great option for when you want to have a single key for all your locks. 

 

Replacing locks, on the other hand, involves unscrewing the old lock and installing a completely new one, with new keys. If your locks are working perfectly fine, then this isn’t always a necessary measure. Lock replacement is usually only recommended for situations where people are looking at upgrading their locks or if their locks are in bad condition. If you’ve moved into a new home and you don’t feel comfortable with the existing locks, then lock replacement could be something to consider. 

 

Replacing a lock is usually more expensive than rekeying a lock. Rekeying a house ranges anywhere between $40 to $100, sometimes more if the job is complex. Replacing a lock, on the other hand, can cost a couple of hundred dollars, give or take. Obviously, every situation is different, so it’s best to contact your a well-reputed locksmith for an accurate quote and estimate. 

What about rentals? Should you still change your locks if you’re renting?

When it comes to rentals, tenants often come and go regularly. For security reasons, some landlords choose to change their locks every time a new tenant moves in. The majority of tenancy laws in Australia require landlords to provide and maintain locks so that a reasonable level of security is achieved, so changing locks or keys is sometimes a necessary measure. Since rekeying a lock is much more affordable than fully replacing a lock, most landlords will opt to rekey locks after a tenant has moved out. 

 

If you’re a tenant, you’re not allowed to alter, remove or add any lock or other security device unless your landlord agrees. You’ll also have to give your landlord a copy of the new keys. There are, however, special circumstances for when a renter doesn’t require permission from their landlord, for example, if the renter is experiencing family violence. Ultimately, every rental agreement differs and rental laws vary state-by-state, so if you’re not sure, it’s best to speak directly with your agent or your landlord for confirmation.

Can I change my locks myself?

Although it’s possible for you to change your locks yourself, it’s not advisable. As locksmiths, we’re natural advocates of hiring professional locksmiths to do the job. However, there’s a good reason for this. When you hire a professional to do the job, you’re paying for their expertise. Most people simply aren’t equipped with the knowledge or skills necessary to be able to change locks or rekey locks to a high standard. Your home should be your sanctuary, and you should endeavour to make it as secure as possible for yourself and the other occupants. You certainly don’t want a silly mistake to jeopardise the safety or security of your household, so if you want to take your security seriously, it’s best to leave all security measures to a professional.

Should all my doors have the same key?

Whether you’re getting your locks rekeyed or completely replaced, your locksmith will ask you if you want all the keys on your property to be the same. There are lots of benefits to having a single key for all your locks. Nobody likes fumbling around for their keys at the doorstep in the dark. It can be super convenient to have a single key that works to open every door on your property – especially if you’re not good with keys and find yourself misplacing them every now and then. If you want all your doors to be accessed with the same key, this can be easily achieved by simply rekeying your locks. 

Whether having a single key system is the best option for your home depends on your individual circumstances and priorities. At Jim’s Locksmiths, we can perform an obligation-free security audit for your home – no strings attached! 

 

If you’ve recently moved homes and would like to be proactive with your home security, contact Jim’s Locksmiths today to learn about our wide range of domestic key and lock services. From rekeying services to lock replacement services, we’ll help you find the best option at the best price. Contact us today on 13 15 46 for an obligation-free quote.