Change The Locks: 5 Types Of People Who Might Have Keys To Your New Home

Posted on: 27 March 2015


As you plan to move into a house or an apartment, you're debating whether to have new locks installed. It might seem like a waste of money, but perhaps someone you know has urged you to do this. Unless your landlord has verified changing the locks at the apartment, call a locksmith and get all the door locks redone. It's important to do this even if you've bought a brand new house. The number of people who might have a key to your place could be mind-boggling. 

People Who Might Have Keys 

Previous Residents

How many people used to live in your house or apartment? Depending on the building's age, there might have been dozens of former residents. That's especially true of apartments, where many tenants only stay for a year or two before moving on. Even if they turned in keys to the landlord, they could have kept copies.

Friends and Relatives of Previous Residents

If 10 people have lived in your house or apartment before you, those 10 people may each have given out keys to friends, relatives or romantic partners. That means you may have numerous additional keys floating around out there. 


It's not uncommon for people to give a key to a neighbor in the event they lock themselves out, or to have somebody feed the cat or check on the place during an extended vacation or business trip. 

Babysitters & Housekeepers

Previous residents may have paid nannies or babysitters to care for the children and hired house cleaners to keep the place clean and tidy. Any of those individuals may have been given a key to the house or apartment and may still have the original or a copy. 


A former resident might have let a painter, carpenter or plumber have a key to the place if these individuals needed to work there for several days running. There's always a possibility that an unscrupulous crew member could have sneaked the key to the hardware store for a copy. 

Numerous workers also can have keys to a brand new house. Not only the primary home builder but crew members and subcontractors may still be able to get in.

Concluding Thoughts

Many individuals may have keys to your new residence, and you have no idea whether these people can be trusted. For peace of mind, have a locksmith change the locks before you move in. Depending on the condition of the locks, the locksmith (such as one from Malibu Locksmith) may replace the pins inside the lock, a process known as rekeying. If the locks aren't in good shape or could use upgrading, replacing them entirely is the best idea.