It’s important when one of our team turns up to let you inside that you can provide evidence that your are a resident of the property. It’s not as easy as it might seem. If your keys are missing, sometimes that means your wallet/purse/id is as well. But even if you have them? You are going to need to provide evidence you are a resident of the property.
Here’s and example of why.
Last weekend I got a call from a Gold Coast gentleman about 2am Saturday morning claiming to be locked out of this house. He had his keys, but for some reason they were not working. He had clearly been out for a big night on the town – his speech was slurred and he sounded pretty upset. He told me he had his Id on him and it was his place… but his key was definitely not working and he needed immediate help.
So I hopped in my van and was there within 20 minutes. He was sitting on the steps waiting for me, head down on his chest having a quick power nap. After a couple of gentle shakes he came around, realised I was the locksmith and motioned me to the front door as he took out his wallet. Indeed his licence named him as a resident to the property and on the face of things, everything looked legit. I asked him to show me his keys so I could test them. That’s when things started to go pear shaped.
The key he handed over was not ever a near match to the lock. The key could insert in the lock but never looked like turning. This was not a faulty or damaged lock or a damaged key. This was the totally wrong key made for a totally different lock.
I quizzed my new customer about his keys. They were a completely wrong match. Was he sure he still lived there? At first he was adamant but then I saw the moment when he realised… he was at the wrong house. He had moved out 6 weeks ago! He had not updated his licence, had only moved 200 metres around the corner so the area still felt like home… But he now lived in a new house!
Some choice words accompanied by lots of apologising soon followed. I escorted him around to his new house where his keys worked perfectly. Go figure! He was lucky the residents of his old home were not home or there could have been a pretty embarrassing scene. He insisted I send a bill to his new address, I did and bless him, and he paid the same day.
So… what is there to be learned from this little adventure?
- Any locksmith worth their salt is not going to accept a licence or other id as the sole evidence that you are a resident of the property. If this was acceptable on its own a former tenant would be able to call a locksmith and use them to access a property they have no right to enter.
- Expect if you are let in that the Locksmith is going to ask for to then provide evidence that you are a current resident. You might be asked to detail something that will be found in the hallway, to provide paperwork from inside that shows you are a tenant/owner of the property etc
It’s understandable that when a lockout occurs late at night after a too many drinks you are going to want to put the whole incident behind you as quickly as possible but we have a responsibility to ensure there is sufficient evidence you have a right of entry to the property before we let you in, and then leave.
One final tip? If you’ve been out on the sauce, have not lost your keys but they don’t work? There is a good chance that you:
- Are using the wrong key or keys.
- Are at the wrong house.
Try and think about these potential solutions to your problem before you do something silly like try and kick the door down, break a window to get in or call a locksmith to help you into a home you don’t belong to.