How Often Should I Change the Locks on my Home?
Updated: Jul 16
Your home is your castle, and your locks are one of the only things that stand between your family and the outside world.
Security is essential for you to feel safe at home, and your door locks are the easiest way to accomplish this.
You may feel that you have the best security system, but nothing beats your exterior door locks.
While your doors are relatively solid, a home’s doors and locks do need minimal maintenance and updates from time to time.
New locks are not only meant for keeping your possessions, home, and family safe.
When you update your locks, you also have the opportunity to improve the home’s curb appeal, upgrade to a better lock system, or switch to smart locks.
Have you ever thought about how often you should change your locks?
Here’s our guide to help you understand when you should consider changing your locks for both home improvement and for safety.
Moving Into a New Home
One of the most frequent reasons for lock changes is a move to a new home.
Moving to a new home can bring stress and chaos.
There are hustle and bustle and many things to take care of upon your move-in to a new home, so it makes sense that you might not think to change the locks.
You are given the keys from the sellers upon closing the home.
You might trust the person you have purchased from, but do you also know and trust everyone that may have been given a spare key? Babysitters, dog walkers/animal sitters, housekeepers, and contractors (among others) may have been given a key to your home by the previous owner.
Another reason for a lock change on move-in is that you may not be aware of any issues with the locks that will present themselves at a later time.
On a more nefarious note, if the home is a foreclosure, you may have to deal with a resentful former owner that kept a copy of the house key.
It is also a good idea to change the locks on your garage or any outbuilding of which you have taken ownership.
If you are not the first owner of the home, you really do not know how many keys to your new home are ‘out there.’
To ensure the safety of you and your home, change your locks on or after your move-in, and have a professional locksmith check for any broken locks that may need to be replaced.
When Keys are Lost
Lost keys can be a cause for stress. Stolen keys even more so. If you, or someone you live with, have lost a set of your house keys, it is time to change your locks.
Even if your keys are returned to you by a (seemingly) well-intentioned stranger, you will never be sure that there was not a duplicate set of keys made.
To avoid worry, have your locks changed.
After a Marital Split
As much as we try to remain friends after a marriage or relationship breakdown, sometimes it is impossible.
When there is a shared home involved—owned or rented—you will want to change the locks to ensure that there is no opportunity for your ex-partner to enter your home.
Hurt feelings and anger can lead to emotionally-charged behavior in even the most honest people.
Your ex-partner could enter your home to reclaim some contested items.
Simply changing the locks will ensure that no one can come into your home without your permission.
As a Landlord
New tenant: Landlords must be accountable for the safety of their tenants. As a landlord, you must provide a home that is inhabitable. This means that your space should be safe and livable and your tenants rely on you to provide this. A change of the locks after you have a tenant turnover is crucial to your tenant’s safety and security, as well as their peace of mind. Your former tenant may have been ideal, but you do not know if there were additional keys made.
Eviction: An eviction is something no landlord wants to serve, but they happen. Once you have had to remove someone from one of your apartments/homes, it is a good idea to change the locks to the home. If it is a multi-unit home, a changeover of both the front door locks as well as of the unit itself is in the best interest of your tenants and your investment.
Tenants’ request: Your tenant may request a change of locks. In this case, a change of locks will keep your tenant happy renting from you and feeling secure in the home.
After a break-in
As awful as it is to think about an intruder in your home, it is important to mitigate the emotional and physical damage your home has sustained. After your home has been burgled, your concern should be less about spare keys and more about the damage your locks sustained while the incident took place.
Other Reasons to Replace Your Locks
Aside from the above reasons, it might be time to change your locks if you have recently had your home renovated, had a house or pet sitter, or had a roommate move out.
DML Locksmith Services
If you are in any of the above situations, or if you are simply uncertain or uncomfortable about your locks, remember that your safety and security are most important, and it is time to call a locksmith to change your locks.
DML Locksmiths are knowledgeable, efficient, and ready to help you secure your home or office.
Whether you are wanting a locksmith to upgrade your locks on a new house, or you are evicting a tenant, contact DML. Whatever the reason for your lock change, DML has the solution for you.