Property News

Millennials are Sloppy on Home Security, Suggests Study

Em Morley - November 8, 2016

Millennials are more likely to be sloppy with home security than their elders, according to a new study by Ocean Finance.

The research found that one in ten millennials admit that they are unsure about who has keys to their home.

The firm questioned households about who else had keys to their home, beside the people who live there.

Over three quarters (77%) of adults admit that they have given keys to other people, while one in five have given out two or more sets of keys.

Who holds the key?

Millennials are Sloppy on Home Security, Suggests Study

Millennials are Sloppy on Home Security, Suggests Study

Overall, we are most likely to give keys to other (non-resident) members of our family. However, neighbours, cleaners and dog walkers all routinely hold keys to our homes.

Around 70% of us give keys to family members that don’t live with us, while almost a fifth (19%) give their neighbours a key.

Perhaps surprisingly, 20% of millennials give keys to a cleaner, compared to just 2% of those aged 55 or over.

Almost one in ten (8%) Londoners gives a key to their dog walker.

Overall, 2% of adults admit that they don’t know who has keys to their home, compared to 10% of millennials.

Change the locks 

Most adults (60%) don’t bother changing the locks when they move into a new home, meaning that they can’t say for certain who has access to their property.

However, homeowners are more likely to be concerned with home security, with half (49%) saying they changed the locks when they moved into a new home.

Contrastingly, just one in three tenants changed the locks when they moved into their rental property. While tenants do have the right to change the locks of their home, some tenancy agreements state that the landlord must be informed and given a set of keys.

Worryingly, however, just 12% of tenants are aware that their landlord has keys to their home.

Ocean Finance’s Ian Williams says: “Most, if not all, Brits would say securing their home was very important to them. So it’s really odd that we don’t take the basic precaution in changing the locks. We seem prepared to take it on trust that the previous occupiers and the estate or letting agents have given us all the copies of the keys.

“For many of us, people come and go from our homes even when we aren’t there. Cleaners, dog walkers, child-minders and tradesmen all routinely have access to our homes.”

Landlords, make sure that you inform your tenants of the importance of home security before and during the tenancy.

In order to protect your tenants and property, always explain the many ways that your new renters can look after themselves and their home, and remember to conduct periodic inspections to ensure that the property is in a good condition.

These top tips will also help to prevent burglaries this winter: