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Keys

Keys are simple things which create a disproportionate number of problems! When you put your property up for sale it is advisable to let a trusted neighbour and your estate agent have a key so that they can obtain access to the house if necessary. Make sure the estate agent takes particular care over custody of the keys, which should be coded and never labelled with a specific address.

When you come to move, collect all the household keys together, label each one clearly, and make arrangements for handing them over to your buyers.

When you come to move into your new home remember the estate agent will not be able to release the keys to you until he receives formal authority to do so from the seller’s solicitor. Check with your solicitor in advance as to when this is likely to occur.

Then, however many keys you have acquired from the former owners, remember there may still be others around somewhere – so for your security and peace of mind immediately replace all outside door locks. It may seem a fiddle at the time, but to do otherwise would be risky and a false economy. Incidentally, this comment applies whether buying a new property or a secondhand one – builders’ locks sometimes come from a very small range and various tradesmen may have copies – be safe rather than sorry!

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