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Changing locks on new house – Should you change locks when moving house?

Moving into a new house can both be an exciting and stressful experience for many. There is so much to be done and in the whirlwind of all that activity, it is common for homeowners to overlook security and forget to have the locks changed.

More than half of the population in the UK do not change the locks when they move into a new house and are twice as likely to be burgled in the following year.

Why is that so? It is mostly because the new homeowners are in a vulnerable state and are not too focused on security and because it is most likely that people other than the homeowners have keys to the property, especially if the house was occupied by someone else before them.

Read on to find out why you should change the locks when moving into a new house and who you should call to get the job done:


Should you change the locks when moving into a new house? Yes, you should! It must be one of the first things that you do, preferably before you start moving your possessions into the new property.

Now since that is established, you need to understand why it must be done and what makes it so important.

Your home is your safe space where you and your family feel most at ease. You must do all that you can to ensure that it remains safe from threats and you and your family always feel protected.

The basis of home security is restricting unauthorised access that can be in the form of break-ins, burglaries, intrusions, and even uninvited guests.

When talking about restricting access, you must focus on the main entry points, aka the front and back doors, and make sure that they are secured using good quality locks.

These locks are what keep your house safe from unauthorised access, and anyone who has access to them has access to your house.

It is very plausible that the previous homeowners still have their set of house keys and, even if you completely trust them, there is no way of knowing how many keys they’ve lost over the years and how many spare keys are in circulation.

Most people make spare house keys as a backup and to give to their family members and close friends. In addition to that, they are also often handed over to companies and individuals including estate agents, tradesmen, and pet sitters.

By not changing the locks, you risk putting your house, yourself, and your family members in unnecessary danger. Anyone with a key can access your house and cause harm to you and your family. That is a very unnerving thought and one that must get you to change the locks to your new house ASAP.

Furthermore, if your house gets broken into or your possessions are stolen, not having the locks changed may invalidate your insurance claim since some insurance companies will state that you haven’t done enough to secure your property against such threats.

Also, your home insurance won’t pay out if an intruder lets themself in using a key and there are no clear signs of forced entry.


Locks are an integral part of home security and moving into a new house isn’t the only time when you should consider changing them. You must change the locks to your house if:

You lose your keys

Keys are one of the most commonly lost and misplaced items in the world with every other homeowner having lost at least one set of keys in their lifetime.

That being said, it is recommended to have the locks changed since there is no way of knowing whether the keys were simply lost or stolen by someone. Instead of losing your mind over who might have access to your house, it is best to give yourself some peace of mind and change the locks immediately.

You gave your keys to someone

It is very common for homeowners to give the keys to repairmen or service providers to get a job done, for example having the house electrics checked, and for them to forget to return the keys to the rightful owners.

Again, in this case, you cannot have strangers in possession of your house keys and, therefore, it is best to change the locks.

Someone moved out

It is also very common to be sharing your house and the house keys with a family member, spouse, friend, tenant, or roommate.

If they decide to move out, such as a spouse moving out due to separation or divorce, you would want to change the locks to keep them from coming back and letting themselves in.

You experienced a break-in

You must immediately change your locks if you experience a break-in or attempted break-in since the burglars may have made copies of the keys and now possess full control over your property.

The existing locks may also have been damaged or broken by the burglars, leaving your house in an even more compromised state, and also leading to lockouts and malfunction.

Your locking mechanism needs to be upgraded

Locks are susceptible to general wear and tear, and if you feel like your existing locks are old and outdated, it might be time for an upgrade to stay at par with technological advancements in security.

Faulty locks may not only cause inconvenience to the homeowners by becoming difficult to operate but may put your entire property at risk since they can be easily opened by burglars. Therefore, to avoid any such unpleasant situations, you must get rid of defective or obsolete locks and make way for state-of-the-art modern locking mechanisms.

You just want to feel safe

If your existing locks make you feel less secure and you worry that they are putting you in a vulnerable position by making your house an easy target, consider changing and upgrading the locks for peace of mind.

You may also want to maximise your home security when you are travelling and leave your house empty and unattended. Knowing that you have the best and most secure locking mechanism acting as a physical barrier between your property and criminals will help you feel safer and more at ease while you’re away.


Most people think that changing the locks is the only option if you lose your keys or move into a new house. What they don’t usually know is that there is another much better, and often cheaper solution, known as rekeying.

While changing a lock is pretty self-explanatory and refers to simply replacing the entire lock, re-keying is a little more complicated than that.

Rekeying means changing the key of a lock to a different key without changing the lock itself. In other words, the lock remains the same but your old key will no longer be able to operate it.

This is done by opening the lock and replacing certain components, known as tumblers or key pins, that correspond to a specific key.

When these tumblers or key pins are replaced, you are essentially setting a new key to operate the lock, rendering the old keys useless.

It might sound complicated, but for a professional locksmith with the right tools, it is an easy procedure that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

To make the process even easier and quicker, it is best to provide the locksmith with the current matching key, or else the process may incur additional charges and make it more expensive than changing the lock altogether.


You should rekey your locks if:

  • Your existing keys get lost, misplaced, or stolen, and you don’t want them to work with your current locks. This will make them non-operational and restrict unauthorised access for whoever has them.
  • You wish to opt for master keying, which means that you have different keys for different locks, of the same brand or keyhole, and you want them all to be operated using a single key.


You should change your locks if:

  • Your existing locks are damaged, broken, worn out, or malfunctioning, and the components aren’t working as they should.
  • You want to change the way your locks look to complement the aesthetics of your property.
  • Your existing locks are not the most secure and you wish to upgrade to higher security or digital locks.


Traditional locks and keys have been providing security for properties for centuries but they do come with their fair share of drawbacks.

As discussed above, keys are one of the most commonly lost and stolen items in the world, making key management somewhat of a hassle, especially for bigger properties with many doors and locks.

If you want to simplify your life, you can eliminate the need for keys entirely and simply go keyless.

Keyless entry systems, also called electronic access control systems, are more secure and convenient than traditional keys and allow you to enter your property using various authentication methods such as access cards, codes, biometrics, and smartphones.

They not just act as an effective deterrent against criminals looking to break in, steal, and damage the property, but also allow a greater level of control by allowing you to know who is coming in and going out, and at what times, something that cannot be done with traditional keys.

With keyless entry systems, the user presents the credentials to a reader which are forwarded to the control panel. The request is processed and the credentials are then compared with a control list.

If the credentials do not match those on the list, access is denied and the door remains locked. If the credentials match, the control panel sends a signal to the relay and the door is unlocked.


There are various types of door locks that offer different levels of protection and security. Some of the most common types include padlocks, deadbolts, knob locks, lever handle locks, rim or mortice locks, euro profile cylinders, cam locks, multi-point locks, and smart locks.

A door lock that may be perfect for one situation might be completely wrong for another. Therefore, when choosing the best lock to change your existing one, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

Lock gradings and ratings

Locks are given gradings and ratings that determine the level of protection they offer. They must conform to the British Standards 3621 for quality, safety, performance, and trust, which is also a requirement for many insurance companies in the UK.

Type of door and lock

The type of door that the lock needs to be installed on plays a very important role when choosing a locking mechanism. All locks are made different and are best suited to different types of doors which is why they must be chosen considering the hardware that they have to be combined with.

Lock brand

Lock brands such as Chubb, Yale, Securikey, and Garrison have been in the security industry for years and are known to produce state-of-the-art products that never compromise on your security.

Your budget

While it is not possible to put a price on your safety, how much you are willing to spend on your door locks will be a huge determining factor of the type of lock you choose for your property. It is always best to run a risk assessment and determine the level of protection you require along with the acceptable budget for it.


Since locks are an integral part of home security, you must have them changed by a professional locksmith who knows what they are doing.

You may be tempted to pull a DIY but we strongly recommend against it since there are certain things that you need to keep in mind when installing locks on your doors, and professional locksmiths have the required expertise and experience to work on a variety of locking mechanisms and properties.

Professional locksmiths are up-to-date with the latest lock technologies and can perform a risk assessment of your existing locks and security measures to see if they comply with the industry standards or not.

They can be relied upon to provide a holistic package that includes not just installation but a variety of other services that include replacing, rekeying, and repairing locks on domestic and commercial properties.

Trained and certified locksmiths have specialised tools needed to carry out the job in the least amount of time with no or minimal damage to existing locks, doors, or windows. They also provide insurance coverage which means that any damages done to your locks or doors will be covered.


We at Calder Security are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA) since 1976 and can work on a wide range of locking mechanisms.

We are specialists in wooden, UPVC, and aluminium doors and the official suppliers for leading lock brands including Chubb, Yale, Securikey, and Garrison.

Our team of experienced professionals can advise on the best types of locks and whether you need lock replacement or rekeying for your home or business.

In addition to installation services, our professional locksmiths also offer repairing services for when the locks become damaged or develop faults and may not require changing.

Our qualified locksmiths have an in-depth knowledge of all kinds of locks and can often repair them on site. We can also access locks that have become jammed, including safes, and can respond to your calls quickly which can be very useful if you’ve locked yourself out.

We also offer expert key cutting services from our Lock & Safe Shop in Wakefield where you can get your keys cut while you wait.

Using our state-of-the-art digital equipment, we can cut virtually any key including cylinder keys, mortice keys, dimple keys, Mul-T-Lock keys, padlock keys, locker keys, and safe keys to a high degree of accuracy without having to send them away to be cut.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 to talk to our professional locksmiths right away!

Photo by Abbilyn Zavgorodniaia on Unsplash